TAKING his three children to school every day has landed an unemployed dad a job on a building site.

Former sandblaster James Hawkes, 27, walked past the next door development of 10 supported-living bungalows each weekday.

He started chatting to manager Hugh Sneddon and told him he had been unemployed for three years with a mental health condition.

His talk of looking for work next year prompted Mr Sneddon to contact his bosses at developers’ Clement Dickens who gave him to go ahead to offer his friend a job.

Now six weeks later Mr Hawkes, his partner Naomi and children aged eight, four and two are looking forward to a much better Christmas than expected.

Mr Sneddon said: “I’d watched this guy for a couple of weeks, leaving the house at 8.30am every day to take his kids to school and then just pottering about his garden.

“He seemed like a lovely, conscientious sort of bloke and so I decided to ask my bosses if we could take him on. They trusted my judgement.

“We are building bungalows for the charity Making Space which will provide supported living for people living with learning disabilities, mental health conditions or physical disabilities as well as older people. It seemed really fitting that James, himself living with a mental health condition, has joined the construction team.

“He has been working with us for six weeks now, has fitted in really well and is a good, hard worker.”

Mr Hawkes said: “I had to give it up my last job because of my mental health. I am much better now and was going to start looking to return to work next year. When I got chatting to Hugh and he mentioned I could work next door on the site, I jumped at the chance.

“My partner Naomi was shocked I went out on the school run and returned with a job, but now she’s really pleased. I’m really enjoying it and all the physical exercise means I’ve even lost some weight. It’s going to be a good Christmas.”

Mr Sneddon said: “I’m 59 now but 33 years ago a site manager stuck his neck out for me. Within two years, I was running my own site. It’s only right I help someone else.” Mr Hawkes plans to continue with all the training he can access and become a skilled labourer.