Jan was referred to Halifax Opportunities Trust project by local charity, St. Augustine’s Centre, initially to get help with making a claim for Universal Credit. Jan had stopped working in January 2020 after not receiving any more work from the agency he was working with. As his English language is limited, navigating the job market and findint work was difficult.

Unfortunately, at the time of helping with his claim he became homeless and, due to him not being resident in the UK for long enough, he was unable to continue with his claim for Universal Credit, which in turn meant he was not entitled to housing benefit.

It was at this point he was referred to Hopeful Families to get support. Jan is originally from the Czech Republic and is a qualified Class 1 Lorry Driver. He had worked for many years transporting goods around Europe. However, his CPC had expired and, due to his unemployment and homelessness, was unable to afford to pay to refresh this, therefore further exacerbating his crisis.

His Hopeful Families mentor got to work with his action plan, empowering him to work through his barriers. As his immediate support needs were accommodation and financial support, his mentor contacted specialist support agencies in the form of Calderdale Smartmove and Noah’s Ark Centre who supported him financially, and Calderdale Council who found him immediate accommodation and provided food vouchers for him. We were then able to help with the next step.

Hopeful Families funded his CPC refresher training to give him a chance to find permanent work as a lorry driver in the UK. Jan was provided with a webcam and guidance on how to access his training remotely and to keep him going through the week, a local private sandwich catering company kindly provided him with lunch every day free of charge.

After completing his training, Jan was introduced to our Progression Coach who organised for him to have an interview with a local haulage company – the intention being that once his licence was received back from the DVLA they would arrange for him to go for a driver assessment with them.

Hopeful Families also helped fund his bus fares to appointments and interviews. His Mentor helped Jan to sign up to local agencies to find him temporary work while he waits for his licence and another charity, Happy Days Cycles, have provided him with a new bike from their bike library scheme to help him get to work. He is currently working on a temporary basis in a warehouse, and it’s onwards and upwards from there!