Glyn McNaughton, 63, Thornaby joined Step Forward Tees Valley after caring for his late wife. We have helped him find ways to live with his grief and he has started volunteering.
“My wife died in 2015 but had been ill before that and I had given my job up to look after her. I had been in the local factory for 28 years. When I first gave up work we lived off our savings but eventually I went to the job centre and they put me in touch with Step Forward.
My navigator put me in touch with Mind to help me with the grieving process. Everyone was very helpful, down to earth and easy to talk to. They listened to me and put me at ease and have been a shoulder to cry on. My family is there for me but you don’t always want to put on them. I have also learned relaxation techniques which have helped me to sleep better.
Step Forward has helped to bring me out of myself and to look forward to things again. I had some negative thoughts and they have really helped me deal with them. If it wasn’t for Step Forward I would have been sat at home doing nothing.
A friend of mine started volunteering at a charity shop and I thought it might be something I could try. Step Forward helped me get two days a week at the Barnardo’s shop. It was a trial at first to see how I could cope but it has really helped. It gets me out of the house, I like meeting people and doing something useful.
I am taking it step by step. I was married for 34 years and six months ago I couldn’t talk about my wife or my situation without being in tears. I still have bad days but not all the time. I have taken steps like putting my wedding ring on my right hand and sorting out my wife’s clothes – things I could never have considered before Step Forward.
I would definitely recommend Step Forward to people. I am thinking about becoming a peer mentor to support other people on the programme because it has made such a difference to me life.”