Emma (38) from Blyth, in her own words was ‘at rock bottom’ in Feb this year. Unemployed for the last year and having issues with her housing when she was referred to Bridge Northumberland by Sam at the National Careers Service.
Emma was slightly disillusioned by being sent on yet another job scheme or course but agreed, thinking these things never happen or take months to start. Emma was surprised when two days later Bridge Northumberland contacted her and her first meeting was arranged that week with her Bridge Worker Angela to get started.
Emma had always been in employment since leaving school at 16. From Emma’s first meeting with Angela it was evident there were deeper problems behind her ongoing unemployment. Emma’s issues were much more complex and involved problems with her shared housing and this was seriously affecting her mental health and well-being. These were issues that needed to be dealt with and resolved for Emma prior to any support with job searching.
With a financial review with our partner Northumberland Citizens Advice completed, Emma then started counselling and coaching with our partner Cygnus Support. The support sessions initially started by phone but moved to face to face sessions when lock down eased. Emma says; “the sessions with Lorraine and Amanda were a huge benefit, enabled me to help myself and be able to handle myself better, the support was literally a life line for me. When situations came up and I had a wobble, they were there to help. I can’t thank them enough.”
“I wanted to better myself”
Emma feels the counselling and coaching she has received has changed her life. Her self esteem was built up and her confidence, she now feels able to tackle anything with what she’s learnt. Family and friends have said to her she’s a changed person in her outlook and behavior. Emma says ‘they give you the tools but you have to use them to change your life’. Something Emma very much has done!
“Use the tools they give you to change your life”
Emma’s housing was still an issue, difficulties were increasing with the shared property she was living in and the landlord gave notice as he wished to sell. Emma needed to find new housing urgently or risk being homeless. With her confidence improved by her counselling support Emma started her house search, successfully biding on a council property. Emma moved into her new home with financial support accessed by Angela to assist with moving costs in early August. Now with the security of a tenancy, and her own place to put her stamp on Emma says “it’s a fresh start, I feel I can breath now.”
Happily settled in her new home Emma is focused her job search, looking for work in hospitality, retail or housekeeping, in Blyth or Newcastle. She has been attending weekly sessions with BRIC our partner based in Blyth who offer support with CV writing and job applications. Emma has also completed IT skills training with BRIC to support her job applications. Its now only a matter of time until Emma is successful in finding the right job, we wish her well for her future.
‘it’s all about you’
Emma says ‘Bridge Northumberland is different as ‘it’s all about you’ they center it about you and your needs and work at your pace. They deliver what they say they will do but you have to engage to get the benefit. She says she appreciates so much the support Angela, Amanda and Lorraine gave her and she would say to others why don’t you try it?
“They deliver what they say but you have to engage to get the benefit”