Phillip 29 from Guide Post joined Bridge Northumberland in November 2020 . Due to the pandemic Phillip’s mental health was really suffering and this was impacting on his ability to look for work.
Phillip started at Bridge Northumberland with an initial phone meeting with Alex who would be his Bridge Worker. At this point the Country was under lockdown restrictions so all contact had to be by phone or zoom calls. Alex understood how the pandemic was affecting Phillip’s mental health so it was arranged for Phillip to work with our partner Cygnus Support for coaching to deal with his mental health and wellbeing first.
The sessions with Cygnus Support took place by phone with Amanda. Phillip soon started to benefit from the sessions and they enabled him to have a much more positive outlook. With Phillip starting to feel in a better place he was referred to Community Action Northumberland for support with Job searching.
As part of the programme Phillip was offered a financial review with Northumberland Citizens Advice to check if he had any issues on finance or benefits.
As the job searching started Alex suggested to Phillip a placement to gain experience would assist in his search for work. Phillip was happy with the idea of a placement, After further chats it was decided Phillip wanted to do a retail placement, Ashington would be the easiest place for him to commute to. With this information our partner Northumberland CVA then started to look a suitable placement for the New Year. Unfortunately a placement had to be put on hold due to further lockdowns.
With lockdown continuing Phillip’s coaching with Cygnus continued by phone. Looking to the future Amanda from Cygnus spoke to Phillip about continuing to get help online through Silvercloud. Silvercloud is a free online programme for people aged 16 and over living in Northumberland to use to support and improve mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Find out more here We are excited to introduce SilverCloud (cygnussupport.com)
Finally with lockdown looking to be easing it was suggested to Phillip that there were training courses available. Phillip was keen to attend the courses suggested to him, an Employability course, 1st aid training and a Thrive Minds Workshop all planned for March.
Phillip enjoyed the Thrive Minds Workshop and the Employability course went well. By the end of April he had also completed his first aid training with our partner Northumberland CVA. All the training and mental health coaching was really benefiting Phillip his confidence and self-esteem were greatly improved. This was boosted by receiving his training certificates from the courses he had completed.
Phillip was keen to attend further courses to improve his chances of work so next was the six week SkillsUNeeds course at Northumberland CVA. At this time Phillip was also offered a volunteer session at the Scope shop in Ashington, which he was thrilled to do. With the first day going well, references were taken up Scope to look to making the session a regular weekly event.
Phillip though was still keen to continue to work with Northumberland CVA exploring any opportunities they had, he signed up and took part in events with Recyke y’bike chat, planting at Bernicia event, a litter pick at the Queen Elizabeth Park, a beach clean and the cycle training. Keeping himself busy and enjoying each event.
The volunteering role with Scope in Ashington progressed and Philip now works two days. He is really enjoying it and getting good experience from the role. He has also found the time to start a cooking course on Wednesdays. Phillip’s job searching for a job continued and he applied for a retail role with Holland and Barrett, he was given an interview but sadly he wasn’t offered the job.
Phillip didn’t let this set him back. He looked to what training and events were available and signed up for a project at the Full Circle Food Bank and a cycling course on bike care again with Northumberland CVA. It wasn’t long though before a job was advertised at Morrisons in Bedlington for a customer assistant, Phillip applied and was offered the job. We were really pleased to see Phillip be successful in his job search after all his hard work.
Phillip was keen to participate in every opportunity he was offered through the Bridge programme, and using the skills and training to gain the retail job he wanted.
“I started Bridge Northumberland during the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic which had impacted on my mental health. Working with a therapist at Cygnus was a good starting point to help me manage things and give me a positive outlook, setting the groundworks for the rest of my journey. All the staff I encountered on Bridge have been very willing to provide information into what’s going on and what I can get involved with regarding volunteering, jobs, and lots more. The whole experience itself has been lovely and all guidance has been beneficial to me.”
Bridge Worker Alex said:
“Working with Phillip was an absolute pleasure and to see his journey right through to the end has been fantastic. He was a a real impasse in his life, stuck between wanting to make changes but a little scared to take the first step. Gaining employment was a great achievement and totally deserved after all his involvement and efforts during his time on Bridge.”