A JOB coaching service in Worcestershire has been praised by a man it helped turn his life around.

According to Justin Chieffo from Malvern, the Fusion job coaches at Platform Housing Group have been instrumental in helping him turn his life around.

Mr Chieffo, a single father of two children and a Platform customer since 2015, has since completed a Close Protection training course – where delegates learn a broad range of advanced skills for bodyguard work – and has regained his licence in SIA Close Protection.

He said: “I honestly cannot thank Platform enough, not only have they provided me and my family with a place to live when I was at my lowest ebb, but the team has enabled me to rebuild myself, my family and my confidence in order to progress and achieve dreams and aspirations that I had long since written off."

Justin will continue to be supported until he finds a job.

He added: “The job coaching service at Platform has been a revelation and has gone far beyond just job coaching.

"When I first spoke to a job coach I was in a bit of a muddle, lacking confidence and direction.

"After the very first telephone conversation, I was left with a feeling of optimism and motivation.

"I was encouraged to sign up for a course and have subsequently regained my SIA Close Protection Licence, something which I had previously talked myself out of."

The Fusion project was launched in 2016 after local providers accessed Building Better Opportunities funding from the European Social Fund and National Lottery Community Fund.

They provide support and advice to customers who are facing barriers to employment and moving forward with their lives.

So far the project has engaged with 331 Platform Housing Group customers, with 251 of those coming from workless households.

Importantly, 195 of those customers achieved a positive outcome through the project.

Georgina Bailey-Allen, welfare reform and tenancy sustainment manager, said: “It is stories like Justin's which we all find so heart-warming and humble.

"He is an absolute credit to both himself and his family and we are so pleased to have been able to help him on his journey so far.

"The pandemic has brought about huge financial hardship and uncertainty as well as increased mental health challenges and, sadly, Justin is not alone.

"However, our specialist, intensive support can really help people; our message is simple, don’t suffer in silence, reach out and access those services which can make a real difference."