A Doncaster businesswoman who battled depression after losing her high-powered fashion job has bounced back thanks to a Doncaster work programme.
Last Christmas, Tracy Ward could barely get out of bed she felt so low after struggling to find employment.
But a year on she is throwing herself into work at Rigsby’s, a Doncaster guest house whose ailing fortunes she has single-handedly turned around in just a few months.
Tracy, aged 39, was supported in her change of career by the Work Programme, delivered in Doncaster by A4e for the Department for Work and Pensions.
When she joined A4e, in July 2012, she was on Employment and Support Allowance disability benefits for the first time in her life.
She said: “I had been under a lot of stress in my previous job and, when it came to an end, I expected to walk straight into another job but it didn’t happen and that knocked me for six.
“I was crying all the time. I couldn’t even get myself up to run the vacuum around the house.”
But thanks to the support she received from A4e, she felt ready to get back into job searching.
A friend offered her holiday cover work running five-bedroom Rigsby’s guest house on Thorne Road and she did so well the owner gave her a full-time job.
Tracy said: “I am doing everything at the moment, which is exhausting, but I am thrilled to be working and seeing the place come back to life. The help I have had from A4e has been amazing.”