“Thanks to Step Forward Tees Valley and Sarah, I feel happy. I would like to finish my occupational skills and then look at working with animals”

Sonia's Story

When Sonia 35, from Stockton, fled domestic abuse she ended up staying on friends’ sofas. With no confidence, and feeling depressed and anxious, Sonia turned to alcohol to cope. She felt like her life was slipping away and didn’t know what to do.    


During a routine appointment at her local job centre, Sonia’s work coach recommended Step Forward Tees Valley. A couple of days later Sonia found the courage and attended an initial appointment where she met a navigator called Sarah. 


Sarah quickly realised that Sonia needed additional specialised support, and arranged a three way meeting with Stockton Mind.


Stockton Mind worked 1:1 with Sonia over the next six months to reduce her anxieties and improve her confidence. They also referred her to CGL Recovery Service to support her with her alcohol addiction.


Sonia continued to meet and receive support from her navigator, and as her mental health improved they began to address her housing issues. Sarah arranged for Sonia to attend an appointment with Citizens Advice Bureau, who were then able to support Sonia into her own accommodation. 


After 10 months of being on the Step Forward Tees Valley Programme Sonia was beginning to feel settled and more confident.


Now, 14 months on and Sonia has completed a six week health and wellbeing programme, volunteered within her community as part of community heroes and is attending occupational studies.