“I am returning to work"


Karen's story

"I had been out of work for 20 years when I was introduced to Step Forward Tees Valley through my local Job Centre. I was grieving the recent loss of my mother who I had cared for in our family home. My carers’ allowance had stopped and with mounting bills I was facing eviction from my home.

I met my navigator Tracey and told her I was feeling depressed, worried, stressed and didn’t know what to do. Tracey could see that my financial situation was making me even more stressed and worried and she arranged an appointment at Citizens Advice Bureau.

They helped me sort through my finances and avoid eviction. Tracey also made sure I was claiming the right benefits and was receiving Job Seekers Allowance.

As I had been out of work for so long I didn’t know where to start looking for a job.

Tracey worked with me to create a bespoke plan for my future. Together over the next few months we identified my existing skills, how to job search, and practised interview techniques. My aspiration, motivation and confidence were improving constantly and I began to feel excited about my future.

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

Tracey supported me to get my life back on track. I have gone from being low to being happy again."