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James's story (cropped)
"I was in a very low place: I felt unemployable."

James's story

When he first contacted LionHeart, James* had been unemployed for six months after being dismissed from his job and was in the process of taking his former employer to a tribunal.

As the main breadwinner in the family, the situation had left him struggling to support himself and his wife, who earned a low wage, and their two children.

LionHeart was able to offer support to James in a number of ways. A financial grant was quickly authorised, with a set sum being paid monthly for at least six months, and he was given advice about benefits and tax credits.  A support officer was in regular contact by phone and email, offering practical and emotional support, and sometimes just as a friendly listening ear.

"When I contacted LionHeart I was in a very low place and felt unable to cope with day-to-day living," says James. " I had no money coming in and debts were adding up. I was going through an industrial tribunal and trying to cope with the stress of that situation while maintaining a normal routine for my family.

"I felt that I was unemployable and had very little confidence."

James was referred to LionHeart's employment specialist partners, with a view to offering support to get him back into work. LionHeart also sent James a free book on mindfulness to help him cope better with his stress and anxiety-related insomnia.

Some months later, James received an out-of-court settlement from his former employers and  found a new job.

"The help and support I received from LionHeart and the employment specialists was invaluable," he says. "It wasn't just the financial help I received but the conversation, employment support and advice - it made me feel like I mattered.

"When I rang or spoke to LionHeart, I always felt that I was chatting with friends. I now feel more confident and am looking forward to getting my life back on track. I am enjoying being out at work again and feel that I am a valuable part of society."

*Names changed to protect identities. Photo posed by model.