“I’m so glad I found Step Forward Tees Valley. In four months I have come so far, thank you”

Nicola's Story

Nicola. 52, moved from Lancashire to Stockton four months ago to live with her partner. She didn’t know anyone in Stockton and felt lonely and depressed.


When Nicola signed on at her local Job Centre, she picked up a Step Forward Tees Valley leaflet and arranged an initial meeting.


During Nicola’s initial meeting, her navigator identified that her isolation, mental health, financial worries and lack of basic skills were stopping her moving forward with her life.     


Her navigator invited Nicola to a ‘knit and nat’ session which Nicola really enjoyed. She continued to attend the session and began to make friends.


After a couple of months, Nicola’s navigator noticed that her mental health was improving and asked Nicola if she would like to meet with the volunteer team.


Nicola is now volunteering as part of the ‘community heroes’ programme. So far Nicola has cooked for the homeless, maintained gardens and taken part in litter picks within her community.


Nicola has also decided with the support of her navigator to improve her basic skills and is due to start an English and maths and IT course in September.


In just four months of being on the Step Forward Tees Valley programme, Nicola has made friends, started volunteering, completed a health and wellbeing and employability course and is studying Occupational Studies.