Andre, from Lanarkshire, began three months on remand at HMP Addiewell with a chequered work history and little idea of what he would do after his release.
However, Andre, 33, engaged with Remploy during their regular visits to the prison, meeting Emilia Czarneck and Fair Start Scotland Partnership Manager, Peita-Anne Paterson.
Responding well during further meetings with Emilia, his outlook became increasingly positive, and he began taking courses to improve his skillset, which included obtaining a Food Hygiene certificate.
After leaving prison, Andre promptly joined the Fair Start Scotland service delivered by Remploy in April 2023. Receiving support from Key Worker, Fiona Whitefield, he was proactive in his job search and registered with an employment agency.
Through Remploy, Andre received support to cover travel expenses and provision of clothing and safety wear, which enabled him to begin work as a Labourer.
After switching to an agency Warehousing role for health reasons, he received further help to meet work-related expenses, and has since progressed to a more senior warehouse-based role at a local company. He continues to engage with Remploy through weekly In-Work Support sessions to address any issues and to ensure he is progressing well.
Talking about his experience with Remploy, Andre said: “Before meeting with Remploy I felt worried – but after speaking with them, the penny dropped. It gave me hope. I want to encourage people, including my younger brother who will soon be released from prison, that there is hope. You’ve made a mistake, but Remploy can support you and help you get a job. It can give you a pure advantage.”
*Name anonymised at participant’s request