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Allen Cooper was first referred to Yorkshire Housing’s community investment team in 2016 by income officer Kim Staveley. Mr Cooper was unemployed at the time and had some barriers preventing him from returning to employment.

During his first meeting with employment advisor Imran Hussain, Allen built an up-to-date CV which was ready to share with potential employers. He was referred to Remploy, who specialise in finding employment for people with health issues and later Age UK, who specialise in helping older people.

As a former member of the armed forces, he was also entitled to additional support, thanks to separate funding for ex-service men and women.

Age UK enrolled Allen on an all-expenses paid four-day employability workshop with the Royal British Legion in London, removing one of his biggest barriers to returning to work – IT skills. Mr Cooper was then armed with a newly updated CV and the skills he needed to get it in front of would-be employers.

Within months of his initial referral, Allen secured his first role working as a cleaner, giving him a regular income and the first step back into employment.

Although, Allen still faced obstacles, including a daily 30-mile return commute. Yorkshire Housing was able to help by subsidising his initial travel costs as he began his new role and within a short time, he was soon promoted to supervisor. With the added responsibility came a wage increase, meaning Allen was then on his own two feet.

Allen is now using his experience to find work closer to home and since taking his role as a supervisor, he has completed a four-day SIA security course and Food Safety level 2 qualification. Imran continues to support Mr Cooper to keep his CV up-to-date.

Allen said: “Yorkshire Housing set the ball rolling for me and I feel that thanks to the ongoing support and new skills I’m adding to my CV, my next role is just around the corner.”

Find out more or make a referral contact the community investment team by emailing