"I am enjoying volunteering" #iamstepforward

Susan's story

"I’ve lived in Darlington for over 20 years and I was educated in Canada. I have worked previously – in Canada I worked in a restaurant which I enjoyed and, in the UK, I’ve done some work placements and volunteer jobs in office administration and retail.


I found out about Step Forward Tees Valley from the Job Centre as I was signing on. I want to find paid work but it is not easy at the moment.  One problem I have is that I have epilepsy and I also have a stammer. Sometimes I lack confidence. All of those things can make it quite difficult. I sometimes find application forms difficult. Some applications are easier than others!


When I did get through to an interview, even though I knew the questions I’d be asked, I would get nervous.


I would like to do administration work – things like telephone work I find more difficult. Step Forward Tees Valley has helped me through the courses they offer including the confidence course, Healthy Me, Confident Me, and the timekeeping course. I really enjoyed them; I enjoyed meeting people and I felt better.


I am currently volunteering and have two volunteer jobs. One is at Citizens Advice where I am archiving the old files and the other is a charity which provide lower cost furniture and other items.  I do administrative work there including managing the stocks.


I am hoping that I will use all of the skills I’ve learned with Step Forward Tees Valley, and my increased confidence, to achieve employment."