Rhodri overcomes challenges to get great job

Five years unemployed with depression and anxiety, Rhodri felt his life was on hold. Rhodri’s mental health was suffering so badly that there were days when he wasn’t even able to leave his home.

Fast forward to today and Rhodri has a full time job that he enjoys, both for the work he does and the social interaction with colleagues. Popular at work and valued by the management, Rhodri’s life has dramatically improved.

In 2018 Rhodri’s father Derek contacted Workways+ to ask if they could do anything to help Rhodri work towards volunteering or employment. Workways+ provided Rhodri with an Employment Mentor to work with him on a one to one basis. Rhodri agreed, but initially the contact between Workways+ and Rhodri would be through Derek. After a period of time Derek could take a step back with Rhodri starting to speak directly with Iain, Rhodri’s Workways+ mentor.

Iain and Rhodri planned a gentle transition into employment with volunteering top of the agenda. The Riverside Trust, a social enterprise which operates close to Rhodri’s home was seeking volunteers and Iain arranged for Rhodri to meet the people that manage the project. Rhodri was positive about the opportunity and he spent several happy months clearing land and maintaining pathways. With confidence growing it was time for Workways+ to help Rhodri take the next big step into employment. Carol, Workways+ Employer Liaison Officer started the search for potential employers for Rhodri.

Bev Parker, Operations Director of the Port Talbot based company Ministry of Furniture had just contacted Carol to discuss support for employing a Production Operative. Carol thought Rhodri would fit this role.

To support both MOF and Rhodri, Carol arranged for a Workways+ Paid Work Opportunity to be put in place.  A PWO is an opportunity for a Workways+ participant to work in a business for up to 12 weeks. The person is paid a wage that is fully funded through Workways+. Rhodri would get valuable work skills and experience and would also earn a wage. MOF would be able to take a view on whether Rhodri would suit their business, without financial risk to themselves.

Rhodri worked hard at his job and his enthusiasm and positive attitude was rewarded with MOF offering him a full time job as a Production Operative, a post that Rhodri has now held since April 2020.

Bev Parker, Operations Director, Ministry of Furniture said, “We enjoy the support of Workways+ and we trust them to put suitable people forward for the positions we have. Their PWO service enables us to take more of a chance with the people that we give trial employment opportunities. We can take a good look at the employee over a long period of time. We are very pleased with Rhodri, his attitude and commitment towards the role is great and he fits in well with the team. I would recommend to any employer that they get in touch with Workways+.”

If you are an employer that would like to explore the opportunities for Workways+ PWO’s and other recruitment support then please see www.workways.wales for contact details for your nearest office.

Find out more by contacting our office in your local area

Neath Port Talbot