Joanne joined us at 19 having had several other supported places not having worked out due to non-engagement, difficulties with staff or service charge arrears.
She was an engaging young woman but very much knew what she was or was not willing to do. Initially she just wanted support to maintain a tenancy and have somewhere stable to live so that she could then consider her future. At this point in her life she used to smoke cannabis claiming that this helped her to cope with the world.
We made several attempts to tackle the cannabis use, but she was not at this point ready to give it up and saw it as a social thing she also did with her friends.
At this point we started to engage her with different education providers; these lasted from a few days to a few weeks, before she got bored or frustrated with the course. She realised that the cannabis was not helping and engaged with a service to help her kick what was now a regular daily habit.
Once this was addressed she wanted to start back at college and did so successfully completing a couple of courses she had almost completed in previous years. This gave her incredible motivation and she has now been accepted on a university access course to start in September with the hope of finally completing a degree and working in the education system.
Carl, an army veteran, who had been involved with the criminal justice system, mainly related to his reliance on alcohol as a crutch for his PTSD from time spent in Northern Ireland. He was separated from his partner and had no access at the time to his children.
We worked on a plan and supported him to first get some help around his mental health, supporting him to access the correct medication to help him cope with the day to day stresses that were exacerbated by him PTSD. It was at this point that he also acknowledged that he had severe debt problems, which were also playing a part in his downfall as he was he felt constantly trying to rob Peter to pay Paul.
We worked with a debt advice charity for about a year to reduce/eliminate his debts to a position that he could manage within his benefits, this improved his confidence and he felt that he could now think about seeing his children again, as he felt they would no longer be embarrassed by him.
We worked with the British Legion to access a support group for veterans so that he could talk through his PTSD as he felt that only people who had served could truly understand his situation. After a few months he had stopped drinking, engaged with medical and mental health support and was feeling positive that he could have a future.
Social care were engaged with and a plan for supervised access to his children was initiated, this was an up and down process as Carl loved seeing the children, but became frustrated that he could not have them for weekends etc. Working with social care an 18 month plan was put in place that led to Carl with our support being able to gain his own property (we even furnished it to make sure it was safe) and following this was able to have shared access to his children as well as having his own home for the first time in over ten years.
John joined us on his 18th birthday, having been in foster care for several years. He was a quiet young man with few friends and no everyday living skills, not even having been to the supermarket before, let alone household skills.
Having spent the first few weeks developing shopping, budgeting and cooking skills, John was able to look after himself but was not engaging with support in a constructive manner. We worked together for the next two years gaining confidence and trying out new activities and building basic social skills. This developed into short term courses that helped to meet new people and increase self-confidence and that finally there may be a future for himself.
Following a year of exploration, John decided that he would like to look at the option of joining the military. We supported him in investigating, applying and undertaking testing programmes. Following a successful selection programme (being accepted as a medic in the Army) we worked on a plan for what he would do when not in barracks as he had no family to stay with.
He is now a fully qualified medic and has been in the army for 18 months and we are delighted to receive contact from him still.