Sally shares her experience of being a participant in our Get Ahead employment programme.
I was stuck in a rut, I was doing the same thing, day in & day out & wasn’t moving forward which caused me some concern due to my recovery. I was through the recovery journey but then wasn’t sure how to move things on. My life had previously been addiction - I needed to find something new.
Moving forward, my heart was set on going into recovery work, but I wasn’t sure how to get there. I needed help with finding a route to where I wanted to be. I also needed help with writing a CV, help to build my confidence to get started with moving toward my future career.
Once I knew the route needed to be taken, I needed the support to help me achieve my goal. I didn’t know what the future held for me which was causing me anxiety. Again, I felt stuck in a rut.
I was in recovery with Changing Lives so I knew of them & some of the things they did but I wasn’t aware of all the services they have & support they offer. I found out about the Employment Team through NRP.
I was very nervous for my first session, we met in a café which ended up being quite busy so was I reluctant to speak about my past. The next time we met up we chose somewhere less busy & more private. I felt like Aimee understood how I was feeling in the café so I felt less nervous about meeting her again. I was still worried about revealing everything about my past, but I did feel more positive after the first session.
We worked on my CV to begin with. I feel like that gave Aimee & I the chance to get to know each other. We worked on my personal statement which I found difficult as I don’t see the things Aimee was talking about as assets for an employer. Aimee helped me realise I do have a bit more to give than I originally thought.
We talked about options for me moving forward & I decided Health & Social Care level 2 was a good way for me to go. It would give me an opportunity to gain a bit more confidence by going to college & increasing my knowledge but also having a work placement would give me work based experience too. Aimee supported me through the online enrolment process.
Aimee referred me to Lynn who is a financial inclusion worker. She worked with me to sort out my benefits & then I applied for PIP. I received a back payment of money & now also get awarded extra money every month which has been a huge help.
Aimee then told me about Stepping Stones, which is a course that Chris Pinder (Changing Lives Training and Employment specialist) runs & I decided to go along to that. It was an 8-week course working on Wellbeing & also had bits of other things brought in such as confidence building & emotional resilience.
Aimee took me along to the college enrolment event for Health & Social Care where I met with the tutor for the course & signed up. We then went stationary shopping & Aimee made sure I had everything I needed to start college with no cost to myself.
She helped me complete the finance support forms that would help me cover costs to college & also made sure I spoke to the relevant people at college to make sure I had the correct support whilst attending.
Aimee understood that due to my issues with reading & writing I would struggle with writing assignments. The travel to the college was also quite a lot so she organised for me to get a laptop to enable me to do assignments etc from home rather than having to go to college on my days off to do them.
I was still unsure of myself and had low confidence. I felt like I had support in place & knew I could contact Aimee for support if needed which was brilliant. I feel like what we did is working, Aimee gave me the guidance & reassurance that I was going in the right direction.
It has given me motivation to get out there & achieve something rather than letting my mind take over & convince myself that I can’t do anything. I have started college & attend every week as I now have an end goal which I am hopeful is achievable. I just need to keep my mind focussed & not allow my negative thoughts to pull me down.
I am hoping to start a work placement with Northumberland Recovery Partnership soon. I have also applied for my provisional license & plan to take some driving lessons then resit my test. Working with Changing Lives has made me realise that this is another step to moving forward & I know it will open more doors for me.
I feel a lot more positive. I can see a future now. I'm managing my anxiety now rather than letting it manage me. I'm looking forward to achieving the goals I have set & working full-time in recovery services. Continuing to provide a stable home for my son & be a role model for him.
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