Case study | 22 February 2021

Doreen's Story

Doreen first heard about Working Chance through her probation officer about three years ago. When she came to us, she was ready to work. She’d spent a lot of time studying for her driving theory test, and straight away she was invited to an interview for a role driving London buses. She did really well at the interview, disclosing her criminal record to the employer. They offered her a role, and she loved the job.

But soon after Covid-19 hit, Doreen was made redundant because of the reduced bus timetable – there just aren’t as many people taking the bus. She was understandably worried – with public transport at a standstill and no demand for bus drivers, plus now in her fifties, she knew it would be hard to find a new position. So she came back to Working Chance to look for another role. We found a vacancy for a driver with a recycling and energy company. Unfortunately, after an interview, they told her that she wasn’t suitable for the role.

However, they were really impressed by her interview. They said her application was strong, that she was confident in person, and they appreciated that she disclosed her criminal record and was honest about her journey. They said they would make sure to find something for her, and not long afterwards she was offered a job as a recycling operative.

Doreen loves her new job. She loves working outside and interacting with the public as part of her role. And after a long time learning to live on very low universal credit benefit payments, she was really happy to receive her first wage packet. Plus, it’s a safe, permanent position. As she told us, people won’t stop recycling, even under lockdown!