"I am starting training"   #iamstepforward

Naomi's story


"When I was at school, I struggled with some lessons because I am dyslexic. I went to college and studied photography and art as well as food hygiene and cake decoration. I passed them all!


However, when I left college, I found it hard to find work. I have some health issues, including epilepsy, and while I was applying for jobs, I wasn’t getting any of them. I was experiencing bad depression, panic attacks and anxiety too. I didn’t feel very confident but I really wanted to work. Because of my health difficulties, I am entitled to benefits but I want to work – I see myself as able as every other person. I’m determined.


I got involved with Step Forward Tees Valley because they helped my mum. They helped me access an ICT course, a health course, an English course and a customer service training course.


It’s been great and now I have a part-time job in photography and social media at weekends. I edit the photographs I take and upload them onto social media and I have been really enjoying it.  They have helped me improve my English, they have helped me increase my confidence. At first I didn’t dare talk to anyone, I’m usually the one that sits in the corner. Now I have quite a bit of confidence.


The support I’ve had from Step Forward Tees Valley and the Job Centre has been great and they, and I, were buzzing that I’ve found a job!


It might only be part-time but I’m getting paid and it’s good experience. I want to work full-time eventually and I’ll keep going until I do. I’m a proper trier – I’ll keep going until I do!"