I'm asking on DP's behalf. He's been off work for a long time with depression/ anxiety (caused by his previous employer). Because DP only worked there for about 3 months and hasn't been in touch with his old boss since he walked out of the office that day, he won't get a reference. So, what are his options?
We've talked about volunteer work but is there any other way of finding a job?
I walked out of a job once and worried about how to get another job with no reference - I took the route of signing up with a temping agency (not sure if your DP could do this? Can he type?) I was kept on for a month with my first assignment (was supposed to be a 2 day booking) and they encouraged me to apply for a permanent job, but I was heading off to law school so I didn't. I then went to another temporary post and they took me back in college holidays, so it worked quite well. Then there was enough distance from the walk-out job that it didn't matter any more.
Another place to try is Marks & Spencer - my DSis has been off work with stress and anxiety since July last year and got a Christmas temp job at M&S with no problems. It was supposed to be 18 hours a week but she is full time (sometimes excess of full time!!!) as they have tons of extra hours going. She's hoping to get kept on permanently. They weren't bothered about how long she had been off. It has been repeatedly mentioned to her that there are opportunities for promotion and management (which she isn't remotely interested in, she just wants to turn up, do her hours and go home) so might be worth a look. It isn't clear from your OP what it is your DP did/wants to do. John Lewis also take on Christmas staff (I have worked there and it's a nice employer).
I think my DSis was in the same boat - didn't really want to get a job as she was terrified of being put through the same stress. But so far she's very happy at M&S and isn't finding it stressful, her anxiety is still there but isn't being made worse by working IYSWIM. The people are nice and it is relaxed. She's enjoying the job and said to me yesterday that she's really hoping they keep her on permanently, which is a giant leap forward - I think DMum was afraid she would never work again after such a long time out.
Great news, thank you so much. It all feels a bit bleak so I'm glad there is some hope. It's hard with DP not working & me doing a job that is making me unwell. I'd love to work in M&S. I might look into that myself!