Karen's Story

Karen 52, from Redcar & Cleveland had been out of work for 20 years when she was introduced to Step Forward Tees Valley through her local Job Centre.


She was grieving the recent loss of her mother who she had cared for in their family home. Her carers allowance had stopped and with mounting bills she was facing eviction from her home.

Karen met her navigator Tracey and told her she was feeling depressed, worried, stressed and didn’t know what to do. Tracey could see that Karen’s financial situation was making her even more stressed and worried so arranged an appointment at Citizens Advice Bureau. They helped her sort through her finances and avoid eviction. Tracey also made sure Karen was claiming the right benefits and was receiving Job Seekers Allowance.

As Karen had been out of work for so long she didn’t know where or how to start looking for a job. Tracey worked with Karen to create a bespoke plan for her future and together over the next few months they identified Karen’s existing skills, how to job search, and practiced interview techniques.


Karen’s aspiration, motivation and confidence were improving constantly and she began to feel excited about her future.

A few months later Karen was successful in an interview at a local supermarket. She is now enjoying working in her first job in 20 years and is extremely thankful to Step Forward Tees Valley and Tracey for their support.

“My navigator Tracey supported me to get my life back on track. I have gone from being low to being happy again”.