Nechita is Romanian and arrived in the UK in September 2016. He came to HOPE 24th February 2017 and stayed for 12 days.  English is not his first language, so we utilised google translate as the means of communication. He had low support needs; no drug or alcohol issue, wasn’t an offender, didn’t feel that he had any mental or physical health needs. However, he was homeless and received no benefits of any kind.

When Nechita arrived, he explained that he had had to flee Derby due to issues with the travelling community. He had originally come to the UK to work – he had a part-time contract with an Agency picking flowers, but this ended.  He then got a job for a couple of months at Greencore on the old Manton Pit site, but this ended as he struggled to get from Derby with no transport of his own. He had registered with a number of Employment Agencies (including; Staff Line, Encore and Ambitions Personnel), but had had no interest. He did confirm that back in Rumania he was a qualified Electrician (where he had attended college for 5 years), and had also worked as a chef and a waiter when between jobs.

Nechita was clearly someone who wanted to support himself, to work.  But, he had no National Insurance number, which is a huge problem for someone wanting to work, as businesses need that for HMRC.

So, when he arrived at HOPE, Claire supported Nechita to explore benefits, however, it became clear that he was not entitled to Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) as a foreign national and, would only be entitled to claim Housing Benefit (HB) after having worked a minimum of 3 months.

To improve his language skills, it was necessary for him to attend an English (ESOL) class, so we referred him to the Language Café at Manton Community Centre.  He really enjoyed this and would regularly do his homework in Hope House Day Service.  We provided him with money to travel to Nottingham for an interview with the authorities to get a National Insurance Number (through an Emergency Fund we operate, enabled through Retford Rotary), which was successful.

Newly equipped with an NI number, Greencore were willing to take him on – they appreciated his commitment.  HOPE provided initial support for his weekly travel ticket for work, until he was paid.

As he now had employment, he worked with his Support Worker at HOPE to look for private rented accommodation.  We were able to secure a property with a local Landlord, Reilly Properties, with whom we have worked previously who, because of our involvement very kindly waved the rent bond.  It was an extremely positive outcome – a home, a job and a bright future!

HOPE took a “risk” with Nechita, but he was someone who we believed was worth a chance.  He could not afford to pay for his bed with us (he had no money and no access to work) and we would not receive Housing Benefit on his behalf.  But, he was vulnerable, in great need and, we responded seeing how committed he was to helping himself.  It is extremely rewarding to see such a positive outcome. Without HOPE he would have been sleeping rough, he may have remained so with no ability to solve the issues & challenges before him – well and truly fallen through the net!!