Robert’s future looks brighter thanks to the Restart Scheme

22 Dec 2022
Jobless and eventually homeless: two situations which 34-year-old Robert Brown did not imagine he would ever experience before the pandemic arrived two years ago. But thanks to the impact of Covid, he has endured both. Now, with support from Ingeus’s Restart Scheme, he’s getting his life back on track and starting to look forward to the future.

In March 2020, Robert thought his future was mapped out – he had a new job lined up working in a warehouse and was looking forward to starting. The pandemic, however, soon put a halt to his plans when the company withdrew their offer.

“My anxiety was through the roof,” explains Robert. “I was applying for jobs, but I was in such a bad place I was struggling to find anything. I was getting more and more in arrears.” 

Robert was referred in April 2022 to the Restart Scheme by his local Jobcentre Plus in Wigan. The scheme was set up by the Government to provide tailored support to help people get back into work after the pandemic. For Robert, Restart advisors Ibby, Ruth and Alec each provided their own specialist support, from housing advice to mental wellbeing.

Despite making progress, Robert’s debts continued to grow and he was eventually evicted from his rented home. Immediately turning to Ibby, he, together with Alec, managed to secure a roof over Robert’s head within 48 hours.

Robert says, “I was on the streets for a couple of days before they managed to find me supported accommodation through The Brick and Riverside. Restart was brilliant. I was even able to go into the office to recharge my phone – the staff were so supportive.”

The team of advisors, meanwhile, were also helping Robert to prepare for achieving success with finding work, refreshing his CV and interview skills, as well as providing financial help with work clothes and travel costs. Now over halfway through his trial period with a warehouse firm, Robert is hopeful he will be offered a permanent position.

He says, “I’m so grateful for everything Ibby and the advisors have done. I’m in a much better place, feeling more relaxed and starting to be able to look forward again.”

Commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions, Ingeus is the lead provider of the Restart Scheme in Greater Manchester and Central and West London. It also partners with Serco, to support the Restart Scheme in Central West Midlands.

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