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Real Stories: Finally Feeling Heard

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David started working with Moving On Tyne & Wear’s Sunderland team in June 2018. He was last employed in 2013 as a Warehouse Operative. Due to his personal struggles with mental health, David has struggled to find work since then.

Over the last few months, he’s made fantastic progress. His story reveals how Moving On Tyne & Wear is not only on hand to offer employment support, but also help people to stabilise personal circumstances and achieve a better quality of life. 


David’s story


David was diagnosed with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) at 13. He was expelled from school at 15 due to poor behaviour meaning he didn’t gain any formal qualifications. David has never been prescribed medication to help manage his OCD and feels this could have contributed to life-long issues surrounding his behaviour.

David has spent most of his adult life roaming from place to place with no home to call his own, living in local hostels and HMO (house of multiple occupancy). Over recent times, he’s been living between his girlfriend, mother, and friends. Difficult behaviour, which he believes stems from his unmanaged OCD, causes disputes with his girlfriend. Finding independence through living in his own property seems like a good step to help David gain personal stability and help manage his personal relationships better.

When David first met his Navigator, Mandy, he was very quiet and withdrawn. He tended to mumble rather than speak clearly.

Mandy’s first action was to refer David to a local counseling service. After an initial assessment over the telephone, David and Mandy were informed the service would follow up with a Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) to help get David on the path to managing his health properly. Unfortunately, this would take 6 weeks.

Education & Training

Mandy was keen to find support for David while he waited for is CPN to make contact. Uplift offer courses to help people build confidence, so Mandy tapped into this service to ensure David was supported while he waited for his assessment. After the success of this course, David went on to complete a computer course to improve his basic skills.

Quickly, there was a clear difference in David’s approach. Mandy could see his communication skills had improved – he was open to having long conversations. David was engaged with Moving On Tyne & Wear’s support and attended all his courses eagerly.

David has now completed a 3-week course which included covering English and Customer Service skills. He will be staring his forklift license traing in November with a possibility of an interview with local production companies at the end.

Housing & Stability

During this time, Mandy was also helping David to address his housing issues by registering him with local providers, including the local authority.

Mandy and David submitted bids to GENTOO and Bernicia Housing. He viewed three houses with GENTOO but, unfortunately, it came back that he had arrears. They would not house him.

However, after Mandy stepped in to vouch for David on the basis that he was engaged with Moving On Tyne & Wear’s programme, Bernicia was willing to help David.

David took over a tenancy from Bernicia on the 20th September 2018. As he didn’t have his own belongings, Mandy applied for a budget loan and to the Greggs Foundation for white goods. Through a variety of sources, Mandy has helped David get on his way to furnishing his new home.

David is really pleased with his home and hopes this will be the first step to gaining security in his life.

David is still part of Moving On Tyne & Wear to ensure he is progressing well and taking further steps to get closer to work. He is enjoying working with Mandy. According to David, Mandy is the first person who has offered any real help. She has taken the time to listen to him.

Moving On Tyne & Wear is thrilled to have helped David progress to where he has. Often, our participants need much more help than just to address their employability skills. Our Navigators are trained to offer advice, support, and provide appropriate sign-posting to crucial local services.


We’re thrilled to write that David is now in employment and is managing his health and wellbeing much better. Well done to David for everything he’s achieved during his time on the programme and a special thanks to his Navigator, Mandy.

Get in touch to speak to the programme team about the help Moving On Tyne & Wear provide.

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