He’d already been unemployed for ten years by then, diagnosed with depression and severe anxiety, and he was convinced he’d been condemned to the scrapheap.
The 57-year-old dad, from Northampton, said:
“You hear people refer to benefit claimants as scroungers, but I can’t imagine that it’s a choice for anyone. When I was unemployed, I felt useless. I didn’t want that to be my lot in life, but I just didn’t know how to get out of it.
“I tried so many times to change, only to fail. It almost felt like I deserved it. I wasn’t able to enjoy life. Relationships were pointless, and happiness was a distant memory. It made me feel I was always on the outside, looking in.”
Glenn’s health problems had set in after his marriage fell apart, leaving him to care for two small children on his own. And then the unimaginable happened – his youngest son died when he was seven, and the breakdown Glenn suffered completely destroyed him.
“Losing my child was devastating,” said Glenn, “I had signed up for an access course and studied behavioural sciences for two years at university, but because of what happened I didn’t complete it.”
The support that Glenn had desperately tried to find himself for almost two decades came after he was referred to the Government’s Work Programme in Spring 2014. After several meetings at our branch in Northampton to address the problems Glenn had been facing and explore options to return to work, his employment advisor felt he would benefit from specialist support from Mayday Trust.
Our supply chain includes many specialist partners, end to end partners and specialist interventions so that customers get the support that is tailored to their needs.
Glenn recalled: “When I was found to be fit for work and put on ESA, I was confused and anxious. I was in a blind panic, and even when the PeoplePlus advisor said everything would be OK, I didn’t believe it. I felt my world was falling down around me. I was sent to get help with my CV, but to be honest, I couldn’t see the point. I was too old.
“Then PeoplePlus sent me on a course called Developing Personal Confidence and Self-Awareness with Mayday Trust. It’s an organisation which operates across Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire that helps people facing challenging life transitions. It was while I was there I had a huge moment of self-realisation. It was scary and fun but I felt myself really opening up. I discovered so much about myself, how I behaved, how I thought and how I reacted in social settings. After the third week, something really magical happened. For the first time, I had a clear mind and I felt comfortable with myself. It was the kind of help I’d asked many psychologists and psychiatrists for in the past, but nothing had worked.”
The confidence that Glenn found through Mayday Trust’s course, and with our employment support he secured a position as a part-time maintenance technician with a well-known local pub. He now feels that he’s been given a second chance in life.
I’ve returned to work and looking forward to the future. Actually, for the first time, I feel like I have a future. It’s a great feeling – the world’s my stage and I’m ready now to play my part.
“I never would have gone for this if it hadn’t been for the DWP and the Work Programme. I spent 20 years on incapacity benefit, and I just couldn’t move forwards. I was terrified of change.
“Now I feel useful. I have a purpose, and I feel valued and worthy. I’m making a contribution to society. That’s what having a job makes you feel.
“I’ve had a few set-backs since then, but they’ve been short-lived. I’m taking small steps, setting goals for myself every day, but I’d love one day to be able to go back to work full-time.” He added: “I have turned my life around and I’m so happy about that. I’m just so grateful that I’ve been given a second chance at life.”