Stephen from Amble has turned his life around with help from Bridge Northumberland.
When Stephen started with Bridge in October 2019, he was not in a good place. He was unemployed, facing financial and housing issues, lacked confidence, and as a result, his mental health was suffering.
He was determined to get back to work but felt he was getting nowhere and it didn’t help that he had no IT skills or access to a computer – a huge barrier to applying for benefits and looking for work. However, his Bridge Worker Andrew set about helping him to put an action plan in place and, thanks to input from several of the Bridge Northumberland partners, things soon started to turn around.
First, Citizens Advice Northumberland helped Stephen make a successful benefits claim, to take the right steps to address debt issues, and to work through the housing issues, enabling him to move into a new home. Then once he was in a more stable situation, Stephen was able to start addressing his confidence and mental health issues with support from Cygnus Support.
Help with looking for work during lockdown
The next step was to start actively looking for work. This was made much more difficult by the Covid Lockdown but Andrew and the team at Amble Employment Hub kept supporting Stephen by phone:
- identifying jobs to apply for
- advising him on completing applications
- help to prepare for interviews
- generally boosting his self-confidence, enabling him to maintain a positive outlook.
Towards the end of August, we were delighted to hear that Stephen had been offered a job in a hotel. There were still some challenges to overcome: the job was in a very rural setting and he had no access to transport and he didn’t have appropriate clothing for the role. So Andrew helped with travel planning and was also able to access financial support to help him buy new workwear.
Reflecting on his experience of Bridge Northumberland, Stephen told us:
“If people need help and support, they should find out what help is out there because when you start speaking to the right people you realise that with the support you can move on. I am in a far better place now than I ever thought I would be.”
Congratulations on the job Stephen!
If you’re inspired by Stephen and want help for whatever situation you’re in just get in touch to find out more about our free support programme or refer yourself now.