Toiyan joined the UP Project in September 2019. He had recently been released from prison, was on tag and looking for permanent employment. Toiyan’s interests were in railway maintenance as he previously had his SIA badge revoked due to his offences. Toiyan main barriers when seeking employment were his criminal record along with being on tag and having to comply with 216 hours community service.
Toiyan was invited to attend an employability workshop and supported to create a CV. He said,
I feel more confident in applying for jobs now as I have never had a CV and seeing what I am capable of written on paper has increase my confidence to apply for jobs.
Toiyan was struggling to reintegrate into society due to his relationship breaking down with his sons’ mother. He found himself unintentionally homeless and rough sleeping. The UP Project supported Toiyan to find accommodation and submitted several applications to supported housing services, attended interviews to offer support and liaised with local housing authorities. Toiyan has since been offered accommodation with The Park Lodge Project, is settling in and enjoying having a secure place to call his own.
Throughout this difficult time his benefits were sanctioned, his mental health took a huge decline and he felt like life would be better if he was sent back to prison. Referrals were made to mental health services and Toiyan has received ongoing support from the UP Project and Let’s Talk Wellbeing counselling service.
Had I have not had the support from the UP Project I honestly don’t think I would be here. I am far from where I want to be, but I am hopeful with the continued support of the UP Project I will be very soon.Toiyan, UP Project participant (2019)
To find out more about the UP Project and how to get involved, contact Siobhan Hirrell, UP Project Development Officer, email@example.com.