This case study covers: Issues for trainees – Struggling to manage the move away from benefits on a low income
When I started the GROW scheme I was full of uncertainties due to my illness of post-traumatic stress disorder. I had surrounded myself in cotton wool and felt safe where I was; my benefits were in place, and I had enough money in my account because of the compensation I received.
One challenge of the GROW traineeship was managing my household bills and paying my rent and council tax. This had been done for me for years because of my illness, but now the onus was on me.
I wondered if I was going to be able to do this. I had been, if you look at it one way, pampered by the state. They had looked after me, paid my rent, paid my council taxes, and given me a little bit of money to survive on.
At the start of GROW we had study days at home which allowed me some time to sort out my benefits. I quickly realised that with a bit of budgeting this would not be a problem.
Others on the GROW scheme took advantage of being paid weekly in arrears to tide them over to payday, and I know they found this very helpful.
The GROW scheme offered me a sense of self. I got back the Dennis from years ago. It has built up my confidence to deal with any situation that arises. I now feel like a fully paid-up member of society again and am looking forward to what life can offer me. I now realise that I have a life and it is far better than I could ever have imagined.
Dennis Benn, support worker and former GROW trainee