The hang-over of unemployment ends for Bradley

Bradley was an alcoholic whose drinking problem started when he was thirteen.

Bradley's father, also an alcoholic, is a butcher and trained Bradley from a young age to follow in his footsteps.

At sixteen Bradley's drinking got more and more out of control and he served several years in prison for various alcohol fuelled offences.

Sarina Russo Job Access Chatham trainer Paul Doust noticed Bradley was very drowsy during his induction and had a private word with him during a break.

Bradley admitted he had been drinking as he was extremely nervous about being involved in a 13 week work placement programme.

Paul introduced him to his employment advisor Tricia Medley and encouraged him to return the next day for CV job search training with Beverly.

Bradley said he decided to come back because he thought Paul and Tricia were kind and friendly but he never thought that he would ever get back into work.

"I went to Beverly's class and she said "Why can't it be you that gets a job?" Those words struck me and I began to wish it would be me.

"During the break I told Beverly I wanted to be a butcher more than anything and I wanted my life back.

"Beverly arranged for AA to come in and talk to me privately. I decided to attend some meetings, got a sponsor and actually stopped drinking.

"Beverly made me a new CV and showed me how to job search. I was too shy to call butchers so she called them for me and got me an interview at Rooks Butchers in Maidstone.

"Trish asked me what I would wear and I told her I had some shoes and trousers. She asked me to bring them but when she saw them she organised me to buy some new trousers, shoes, a shirt and tie.

"I said I didn't need to look smart to be a butcher but Beverly and Trish said it would put me above the rest of the applicants.

"The next day I went for the interview in my smart clothes and I felt different, more importantly it was my 10th day of being sober!

"On my way to the interview Beverly phoned to say she had rung my old job and they also wanted to interview me. I felt so strong when I went to the interview at Rooks.

The interview went well but I had to complete the application form where my criminal record had to be disclosed.

"I put into use the tips I'd learnt the day before about overcoming difficult situations and they worked - I got the job.

"I also got the job with my old employers but took the job at Rooks as the journey was so much better.

"I am still sober, still working and finally off jobseekers allowance. I did not believe I would get a job out of Sarina Russo Job Access' course. I also did not believe I would get sober!!" Bradley said.