Workwise2A father of five has been helped back into employment for the first time in years thanks to an enterprise scheme that provides work-based training for adults with mental ill health.

Jon Christie, 32, from Great Livermere near Bury St Edmunds, developed severe depression and anxiety due to work-related issues 10 years ago. His ill health took away his ability to work, destroyed his social life and caused the breakdown of his relationship with the mother of his children.

But, thanks to the Workwise scheme in Bury St Edmonds, he has now regained full-time employment and it has “changed his life.”

Workwise, which is part of charity Papworth Trust, has been working with local IT assets management company Network 2 Supplies. As part of the programme Workwise trainees are offered work placements at the company and in Christie’s case this has led to a full-time job.

“Due to my illness my life had spiralled out of control. I couldn’t face going to work; I basically stayed at home all the time and rarely went out. In the end my illness caused the breakdown of my relationship and I now live with my father,” said Christie.

“My life changed due to the partnership between Workwise and Network 2 Supplies. Gaining full-time employment again has changed my life completely, I now get out of my house every day, socialise with people and even have a little money in my pocket to go out and enjoy myself again.

“I initially went to Workwise and completed a free IT training course. As part of my programme Workwise secured a one day a week work placement for me at Network 2 Supplies, and this soon went up to 2 days a week. Then in June I was offered full-time employment as a computer technician at the company and I absolutely love it. Within the space of a year my life has completely turned around, I am 100% better and looking forward to the future with real optimism. I cannot thank Workwise or Network 2 Supplies enough.”

Jack Gomarsall, managing director of Network 2 Supplies, said: “Papworth Trust’s Workwise is a fabulous organisation which gives people their lives back and this is why we are delighted to be working with them on this fabulous initiative. In Jon’s case we were delighted to give him an opportunity; he has been a credit to himself and the company and he fully deserved his full-time appointment.”