Through the Restart Scheme, we’ve supported thousands of people across the country to return to sustainable employment.
Since its launch in July 2021, the scheme has been making a difference to participants across South and West Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, and Derbyshire.
Lesley Gosling, from Calderdale, is one of those participants. With the help of the Restart Scheme, Lesley was supported to find her first paid job in 21 years – transforming her life in just four months.
Since leaving work in 2001, Lesley, 43, had been caring for her family as a stay-at-home mother.
Over the last few years, Lesley’s confidence had significantly dwindled. When she joined the scheme in May, she was facing multiple challenges, namely unstable finances and a difficult home life.
Lesley explained: “I didn’t have any confidence to leave the house. I didn’t want to go out, I didn’t want to meet people so I would just sit and stare at the television. There was no reason to get up in the morning. I was very low and depressed. I wasn’t anybody that I recognised.
“I couldn’t go on like that anymore and I was determined to get a job to be a good example to my kids, but I couldn’t see a way forward.”
At her first appointment with Maximus Employment Advisor Catherine, Lesley was quiet and nervous. It was an emotional meeting, and Lesley confided in Catherine about her personal challenges.
Catherine and Business Manager, Jim Beardsworth, provided her with options as to how she could overcome the issues she was facing.
With more than 20 years since Lesley’s last paid job, her lack of recent work experience was another barrier she needed to overcome.
As well as providing emotional support, Catherine helped Lesley to write a CV, look for jobs, and provided her with a phone and clothing for interviews.
Catherine learned of a local cleaning vacancy from our Employer Engagement team, who put Lesley forward for the role. Catherine helped Lesley prepare for interview, and was delighted to learn she had been successful in securing the role.
Since starting her new role in September 2022, Lesley is thoroughly enjoying herself, has made new friends and adopted a whole new outlook on life.
Lesley reflected: “I feel like I’ve been away for the last five years, and now I’m back – I’m a real person again. I have the confidence to go out and visit places. My kids, family and friends have noticed the difference in me. I wouldn’t have thought a year ago that I’d be where I am now and working again.
“I’d like to thank Maximus, Catherine and Jim for all the help and encouragement they have given me to start my life over again. I am proof that no matter what your barriers are, there is always a way through. There is light at the end of the tunnel – you can achieve your goals, get the job you want and have a happy future.”
Catherine Finch, Lesley’s Employment Advisor at Maximus in Calderdale, added: “Lesley’s journey has been emotional, challenging, and inspiring. She has really found the life she deserves and is embracing it wholeheartedly. It has been so joyous to see, and I couldn’t be prouder of the person she has become.”
Jim Beardsworth, Business Manager at Maximus in Calderdale, said: “I am immensely proud of the transformation Lesley has gone through with our help.
“Lesley’s story is just one of many I see every day in the Restart Scheme office in Calderdale. I cannot put into words the pride I feel seeing lives transformed on a daily basis. I know I speak on behalf of the team when I say this is the best part about our role and something we never take for granted.”