I have a history of mental health problems. I’ve had periods of serious depression and I became unemployed in my 50s following a nervous breakdown. After that I found it impossible to get back into work: people were prepared to let me work for them as a volunteer, but not to actually pay me.
I didn’t think Barclays would touch me with a bargepole. Over the years I developed a mindset that certain organisations wouldn’t come near me. I didn’t think the banking sector would even consider taking someone on with the barriers that I’ve faced, and for that reason I’d never considered applying for jobs with a bank.
Then I was told about what Barclays were doing, and for the first time I considered the possibility of returning to work. I took part in a LifeSkills recruitment session and I think my gut feeling was that if the opportunity was offered to me I would seize it with both hands.
I didn’t really know what to expect so I’ve been very pleased with the attitudes of my colleagues here so far. I’m going through the same training procedures as anyone entering the role of essential banker in Barclays – but with all the support I could want for my particular needs. It’s a completely fresh start for me and I’ve found the whole process to date very affirmative and positive indeed. Barclays is here to see me succeed – and that’s something really new for me.
Jonathan, former Able to Enable intern now a Foundation Apprentice