Two years ago, I decided to start my journey to return to work following a long hiatus.
I have previously found myself in a rehabilitation facility after a lengthy battle with a variety of substances. Coupled with this, I experienced mental ill-health.
During this time of recovery, I was introduced to Moving On Tyne & Wear (MOTW). I thought it was worth a try, so I signed up to take part in their peer-mentoring programme. As part of this, I learned about peer-mentoring and how to utilise personal experience to help others.
This course helped me develop a newfound confidence. I felt ready to start another challenge.
To formalise my interest in pursuing a career in support, I began to study for level one and two NVQ qualifications in Health and Social Care. As part of the course, I was required to complete a number of voluntary hours. I worked with MOTW to become a ‘buddy’. I used my peer-mentoring skills to offer support to people suffering with long-term mental health difficulties.
Throughout, I knew my real desire was to work within the substance misuse sector. So, I secured a voluntary position with South Tyneside Adult Recovery Services (STARS) and completed my NVQ qualification.
Within six weeks, my confidence had grown so much that I was ready to apply for a full-time job as a Recovery Coordinator at the same service where I volunteered. Initially, I wasn’t successful with that application however, I was offered a role as a Receptionist at the clinic.
After two months of working in the environment, I re-applied for the original role I’d gone for. This time, I felt even more confident. I was ready to work within my dream job and was successful this time around.
Today, I get to do the job I love, working with people I understand, in the field where I have my roots. It has all been possible due to that very first risk I took at a time when I didn’t feel like I could do anything.
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