Partners help Helen back to work after 16 years unemployed

Woman on course

Buxton woman Helen Singleton is back in paid work for the first time in 16 years after help from our partners delivering the Links to Work programme..

Helen, 44, previously cared for her mother and volunteered at her local church but hadn’t worked since the early 2000s.

Battling with depression, anxiety and confidence issues, Helen rarely left her house and often experienced panic attacks.

But wanting to get back into work, she enrolled on an ‘Inspire Local’ programme run by Zink Employability which delivers the Links to Work programme in High Peak on our behalf.

Zink Employability is part of High Peak Foodbank, helping to support people into work, training or education.

Helen said: “I did all sorts of jobs when I was younger, including being a fork-lift truck driver and in bars, even working abroad. But nothing ever lasted longer than a year.

“After my mum got sick, I lost myself. I didn’t know how to get a job. I didn’t think I had any good points.

“I joined Inspire Local at Zink Employability because I wanted to have a future that involved paid work, rather than depend on benefits. At the time I was on Employment Support Allowance so I did not have to look for work.

“I had heard that Zink Employability helped people into work at a pace to suit them and they have a good reputation in our community. When I arrived I met my work coach and she made me feel positive from the start.”

Partnered with her own personal work coach, Helen started to undertake courses in English and maths, gained new computer skills and created a CV for potential employers to look at.

Through tailored sessions, Helen’s confidence grew, and she found work with a local charity, managing volunteers and supporting their service users.

Helen added: “I am getting more confident all the time and have overcome my problems of using a telephone. It has enabled me to do something for me. I feel worthwhile and that I am a person in society rather than skirting around the edges. A citizen, rather than an outcast.”

If you're keen to get back into work but just need that little bit of support – signup for our free employment training programme and we'll work with you to overcome your barriers to work and get you the job you want.