Lee, aged 31, has been out of work for over 10 years due to a medical condition that had left him with chronic pain on the left side of his body. No one was sure of the initial cause of this – possibly it had been a boxing injury or due to a fall on black ice - but he didn’t heal properly and due to a problem with his nervous system, he is now in constant pain.
In the past, Lee had completed a HND in Business and Finance at Salford University. He was about to finish his degree but his father passed away and he was unable to finish it. While at University, Lee had a job at a cash and carry warehouse and then afterwards, he worked for 3 years at the Printworks cinema in Manchester.
Lee was referred to Motiv8 by his advisor at the Job Centre in Stockport and Motiv8 Keyworker, Simon, from our Stockport hub has been supporting Lee.
How has Motiv8 made a difference to your life?
Lee says: “I have always wanted to work and have tried to be helpful and useful and to make people smile. At various times I have tried to work but not been able hold down a job because of the pain. I have done some volunteering - particularly for NSPCC and Cancer Research UK - and every 2 years I get my hair cut and donate it to the Prince’s Trust to make wigs for children with cancer.
When I became part of the Motiv8 programme I wanted to see if I was able to work. The best thing about having a keyworker and a personal action plan was being able to develop that relationship. It helped that my Keyworker was also interested in boxing and understood some of my issues!
Obviously there was an element of financial advice needed, as I live on my own and was finding it difficult to make ends meet since I lost the disability benefits. Motiv8 has helped me reduce some costs, particularly around utilities and this is ongoing.
I also realised that the best way for me to get back into work - especially after a 10 year gap - was through volunteering. Motiv8 directed me to the Volition programme at Manchester Cathedral and now I volunteer as a ‘welcomer’ for the Cathedral every Tuesday. I am hoping to increase this and eventually hope that it will lead to me being able to do a part-time job.”
What might have happened if Motiv8 had not helped?
“My morale was very low and I was full of doubt. I wasn’t able to get out much as I find it difficult to walk and needed to conserve my energy for necessities. There was little time or energy left for socialising. I do have an interest in writing - short stories and poems and so on - but I think I would have sunk into a depression and not been able to find my way out. I like interacting with people, so this opportunity with the Volition programme has been particularly important to me.”
What does Motiv8 and the support you got mean to you?
“The best thing about Motiv8 for me is that it has helped me realise that I can still give and it has shown me what I can do. It has given me a renewed sense of purpose and optimism for the future.”
Lee’s Keyworker, Simon, said:
"Lee was willing to engage with me and make full use of the support from the Motiv8 programme and this enabled him to reduce his costs with regard to household bills. He has also started the volition course at Manchester Cathedral where he has secured a volunteering position every Tuesday. This has enabled Lee to look at work as an option for him again in the future and has boosted his confidence and skill's. Lee now has a brighter outlook for his own future and a belief in himself. I am really pleased for him and I hope he is proud of his own achievements.”