“I am happy in my first job"


John's story

"Through being involved with Step Forward Tees Valley, I’ve got my first ever job!


In the past I’ve had no confidence whatsoever. I’d been attacked. My Dad had died. I had no self-esteem and didn’t get out much. But I was applying for jobs all the time, I had a flat, I paid my rent, I kept it tidy.


When I was applying for jobs, I found it difficult to get help. I had a CV but I kept getting told I hadn’t been successful when I applied. It affects your confidence.


At the Job Centre, I was told about Step Forward. I met Rachel from Step Forward Tees Valley and she told me about the programme. I signed up and did some courses including in retail and first aid, which I passed, and my confidence started to grow. They helped me get counselling for my grief and I also went to confidence building sessions at Morrison’s Trust and sports sessions at the Dolphin Centre.


One day I was invited to apply for a job as Ambassador with Step Forward Tees Valley. I had to submit a CV and have an interview and I got the job. It’s been so successful, I have had my hours increased from 16 to 31 hours.


I always wanted to do something with technology, so this job’s ideal. I work on the laptop, I go to all the group sessions and get the views and opinions from participants and do reports. It’s a big relief not to sign on anymore! I really enjoy it, I like getting involved with the participants on a regular basis and it’s rewarding to see people make progress.


Being involved has given me lots of different opportunities, for example, I’m on a radio advert for Step Forward and have been on Night Owls on TFM. All of it together makes me much more confident with people. 


If it wasn’t for what Step Forward Tees Valley did to help me, I don’t think I would be where I am today. They do an amazing job and I recommend them to anybody with any problems such as the ones I had."