James suffered severe depression following serious bullying at school when he was 15 and has struggled to lead a fully active life since. His depression went undetected and consequently no steps were taken to prevent his condition deteriorating. His studies suffered and he ended up on the wrong track, studying a course he wasn’t interested in, at a college he didn’t want to be at.
He managed to scrape a degree but couldn’t face the wider world and went back to County Durham to live with his parents, claiming sickness benefit.
“Be Onsite has got me through the door. They are welcoming, warm, direct and friendly and have helped ease me into the role. It’s a paid job in a normal company. I find it hard to think of anything that I would change. I feel that I have a foot in the door which may lead to other things.”
The lack of support available for people with his disability to enter the workforce left him with few employment options and a virtually blank CV.
He was finally put in touch with Ellingham Employment Services, a Be Onsite partner, which helps people with physical and mental health conditions return to working life.
James, 32, is now a water hygiene operative at the Athletes’ Village for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It’s been a long road to get here and it’s been a bumpy journey, but with the help of others, including Be Onsite, he’s been able to land his first permanent full-time job.
James’s future looks bright. Not only is he doing a valuable and vital role on a hugely prestigious project, James has spent the last two months completing a CELTA qualification course to enable him to teach English abroad, to allow him to embark on the next stage of his life.