A single dad from Llanbradach has started up his own handyman business after help from Jobcentre Plus
Leigh Pugh, 24, needed a job that fitted around caring for his four-year-old son, Tyler, who suffers from diabetes and coeliac disease.
He said: “My son goes to school at 8am, for the breakfast club, and I pick him up at 3.15pm, so I have to fit work into those hours.
“I suppose that means I have to work a lot quicker than most people, but as long as I’m working I don’t care. I’ve had a job since the age of 12, and find it difficult to sit around doing nothing.
“With Tyler needing to go to medical appointments too, it helps not having a boss I need to ask for time off.”
Leigh’s handyman business ‘Need Something Done?’ opened for business in March, and has been constantly busy since.
He’s thankful for the help he had from his Jobcentre Plus adviser, Bev Hughes, who encouraged him to become self-employed.
He said: “Bev understood my situation and gave me the incentive to go out and do it.
“She’s been absolutely fantastic. She’s been there for me 110%, and that support is still ongoing. I couldn’t have asked for better.”
Jobcentre Plus offers work focused support for carers, who want to start or return to paid work. Help can include confidence building, mentoring, help with CVs, vocational training, work trials, volunteering and part-time work, as well as information about financial incentives.
Leigh was referred to self-employment agency Venture Wales for help with market research and business plans, and his Jobcentre adviser Bev worked with him to ensure he would benefit financially by setting up his own business.
She also arranged for his broken computer to be replaced, with the help of a local charity, so he could manage his future business accounts effectively.
“I love the handyman work” said Leigh. “I’ve always been quite skilled with my hands, so it’s perfect for me. And thanks to Bev I’m going to start an electrical course at college in September too, which will give me more scope to do that kind of work.”
Bev Hughes said: “It’s great when a customer moves into work; into something they want to do, knowing things are going to be better for them and their family. Leigh’s an inspiration and I hope his story encourages other carers to come in and find out how we can help them into work. Everyone at the Jobcentre wishes him the best of luck in his new job.”