Photo L-R: Bayside Mental Health Caseworker Catherine Ingram, MAX Integrated Employment Consultant Erin Risely, Owner of Green Hand Car Wash Kobus Kruger and business partner Charl Grobbelaar with newly employed Ben.
41 year old Ben is ecstatic after securing a job with Green Hand Carwash
After battling addiction through his late teens and early 20s, Ben is now 17 years clean. Ben is working to manage his stress and anxiety with the help of his case worker Catherine Ingram from Bayside Community Addiction and Mental Health Services.
Catherine worked with Ben to help him stay motivated.
“We used anxiety managing techniques so Ben can better handle stress. I’m helping him become prepared to live independently.”
Ben was referred by Catherine to MAX Employment Cleveland in June of this year as part of an Integrated Employment Program (IEP)*.
When Cleveland Integrated Employment Consultant Erin Risely first met Ben, he was eager to find employment. Ben had previous experience working at a family business, but lacked structure in his role. Erin worked with Ben to overcome these obstacles.
“We worked hard to make sure he understood the importance of structure, getting to work on time and following direction,” she said.
Ben is in his element at his new job, working on the cars that come through Green Hand Carwash.
“It’s really good here, I like washing the cars, doing the wheels, using a chamois,” he said.
Ben is grateful for the support he has received from MAX, and the fast turnaround time in finding him a suitable job.
“MAX have been great, they were constantly looking at jobs for me and called me every time something came up that I might be interested in.”
Ben says that without regular meetings with both Catherine and Erin, he might not have been able to stay as optimistic.
“They helped me stay positive. I like having someone to talk to, someone that actually says ‘Hello, how are you doing?’ ”
Ben’s motivation also came from within.
“I’ve got to be doing something. When I’m sitting around I get bored and start falling back into my old ways.”
With Christmas less than nine weeks away, the future looks bright for Ben who is putting his earnings towards a car of his own.
Owner and manager of Green Hand Car Wash Kobus Kruger is pleased to have found a valued employee in Ben, just in time for the steady stream of Christmas customers that will start filling up the Cleveland shopping centre.
Integrate Employment Programs (IEP) combine clinical intervention recommendations with an individual’s strengths, skills, experience and vulnerabilities to find jobs that can be safely and independently maintained.