Standing in the rain on a busy junction, don’t ever tell unemployed Paul Hyde that he’s not trying his hardest to get a job – after he took to the streets in a desperate bid to get work before Christmas.
Paul, from Finchfield, Wolverhampton, has not worked since being made redundant from Wednesfield firm Eurofast seven months ago.
The 52-year-old spent yesterday pounding the pavement around the Chapel Ash Island in the city armed with a homemade placard bearing the words ‘All I Want for Christmas is a job’.
Mr Hyde said his low job prospects and dire financial circumstances had driven him into taking drastic action.
“I’ve tried every possible means of getting a job, like going to the job centre, even pushing cards through doors, but it is just impossible at the moment,” he said.
“After paying rent I have £14 left to spend on food every two weeks. It is just so hard to live like this. It is embarrassing really having to resort to standing out on the street but I desperately need work.
“I’ve got no money in the bank and no food in the house.”
Mr Hyde said he has worked a number of trades during his life, including stints as a painter and decorator and a sheet-metal worker. He added he survives on Job Seekers Allowance of £71.70 per week.
“These last seven months have been a living hell,” said Mr Hyde.
“It is the first time I have been out of work since I left school and I’m in the position now where I will do any job as long as I can earn minimum wage.
“Packing, picking up litter, I’ll give anything a try just to be able to earn a living.”
Mr Hyde, who lives alone and is a non-drinker and a non-smoker, said he hopes the effort will lead to a job offer.
“I want people to know how hard it is to get work in Britain today. People complain about the unemployed getting benefits, but I don’t want to sign on, I want to work.”
The number on his placard is 07960 394000. He adds: “Hopefully someone will pick up the phone and call me.”