Mike Nolan is featured in a national film called We Work which is changing perceptions of housing associations.


We Work draws together 15 powerful stories of how employment and skills teams have had a massive impact on housing association customers’ lives.

PlaceShapers is a network of more than 100 housing associations that own and manage more than 805,000 homes, with more than two million customers. Since 2010, they have helped more than 60,000 people find work.

Father-of-two Mike Nolan, aged 45, from Crackley, has dyslexia and has struggled with reading and writing his whole life. The thought of completing an application form filled him with dread.

He said: “The team at Aspire went above and beyond for me. They made getting a job effortless and they helped me believe in myself.

“I’d given up work years ago after a stressful time when we lost all our belongings in a house fire and my kids’ mother died suddenly.

“The kids were my priority when they were younger, but now they’re teenagers I wanted to get back to work.”

Aspire Housing’s employment and skills team helped Mike look for jobs, write a CV and practice for interviews. He now works at Madeley High School as a caretaker and he loves it.

He said: “I feel needed, appreciated and more secure.

“I’m doing different things every day. I have lots of responsibility and I’ve had awards from the headmaster for my work, I never got things like that when I was at school.”

Sinéad Butters, chief executive at The Aspire Group and Chair of Placeshapers, said: “Mike’s story is truly inspirational. We care about our communities and play a unique role in helping them thrive.

“These results are possible only because we are embedded in our community. We understand local issues and we provide services which help people.”

Mike is one of almost 18,000 people that The Aspire Group has helped on their journeys into work since 2010.

The launch and film premiere of #WEWORK is being held at a reception during the Chartered Institute of Housing national conference in Manchester today [Wednesday 29 June].

View Mike’s extended video https://youtu.be/gWSr7B_p7Cw

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