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John gets back on track after release from prison

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John* from Dundee joined the Fair Start Scotland service in August 2022 after struggling to find employment following his release from prison. 

John met with his Key Worker, Rory Cowan, who helped him to address the challenges he was facing. His mental health had been suffering from living in sheltered accommodation, and he was struggling with rejection after months of searching for work. In addition, his inability to pass a disclosure check as a result of his prior offence had prevented him from applying for a number of roles. 

Rory set up employability development sessions for John, where he learned about his transferable skills and how to tackle his job search. He was also recommended a training plan to help improve his lifestyle and mental health. 

John attended weekly self-development sessions to rebuild his confidence and self-belief due to the negative impact that his time spent in prison had on his mental health. 

As part of his personal development, John began volunteering in a furniture warehouse four times a week, where he helped with deliveries and stock processes. John demonstrated his work ethic and commitment whilst volunteering for three months and was offered a part-time job within the warehouse in August 2023.

John has now moved out of sheltered accommodation and into his own flat and is continuing to engage with his training plan to improve his mental health. 

Reflecting on his experience, John said: “I am very thankful for the help and support from everyone. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without their support.”

*Name anonymised at participant’s request 

29 December, 2023