"I believe I can succeed" #iamstepforward

Marie Jane's story

"I found out about Step Forward Tees Valley through the Hartlepool Carers. I had an informal chat with Joanne, a community engagement navigator, and discussed the programme and how it could help me.

I have recently moved to the UK from the Philippines and was looking for ways to further my employment opportunities as my previous industry isn't as prominent in the UK. I was very interested in seeking further support and expanding my qualifications.

I came to Step Forward for an initial appointment to see how they could support me and I met with my navigator Cheryl. We discussed my barriers and employment support and we talked about all the possible help I could get.

To reduce my isolation, I attended the walking group which was brilliant. It helped me meet wonderful people from all walks of life and listen to their stories and have a friendly chat. My partner and I really enjoyed it because we could meet new people and at the same time I got to see more of Hartlepool and become familiar with the surrounding area, as well as keep fit at the same time.

As for my employment, we managed to revise my CV and my navigator referred me to take a course in customer service to update my qualifications. The fact I was doing something about my situation helped me make a good impression during one of my job interviews and I got hired.

My partner and I run a handcraft jewellery business, and with help from Step Forward, we were able to get advice on how to progress it and my partner could progress his other enterprise ideas.  It was a very eye opening and informative discussion. It helped us understand the importance of how to build an online presence, marketing and all other areas we needed to enhance in order to manage it better.

In a few months of being with Step Forward and with everyone’s help, I managed to get a job and I am another step closer to achieving more and moving forward.

I am so thankful for the support Step Forward has given me and would recommend it to anyone. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to everyone specially my navigator Cheryl and the Hartlepool team."