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Real Stories: ‘It’s Nice To Know I’m Not Alone’

“I may as well give it a go”. Ethan was referred to Moving On Tyne & Wear (MOTW) by a family member and thought it was worth giving the programme a shot. Ethan has never had a formal paid job and was keen to move closer to work. This post shares his progress so far. 

Stabilising & making a plan

Ethan came onto the programme and expressed his struggle with mental ill-health. His Navigator, Tom, worked closely with Ethan to help him develop more positive habits and sign-post him to helpful resources.

Pretty quickly, Ethan started coming to a regular job and social club which is hosted weekly by MOTW Navigators. Not only does the club give MOTW participants a safe and supportive space to job search, but it also provides a reliable social occasion. Sometimes, the group hosts external speakers from various local and national organisations. Speakers provide advice to any attendees about relevant issues such as finance, wellbeing, and employability. Ethan says he really enjoyed the social side of the Bensham Grove group. Furthermore, the weekly group helped him develop his job search skills with the support of Navigators and other attendees.

Real-life experience

Work experience was something which was lacking in Ethan’s CV. So, his Navigator arranged for Ethan to complete some basic training. Firstly, Ethan completed a Level One Employability Course with a local provider. Although he says a lot of the content was common sense, it was really useful to refresh his to knowledge whilst getting a confidence boost.

With some training under his belt, Ethan needed to focus on gaining experience in the workplace. As a personable, friendly individual, Ethan was well suited to retail work. What’s more, he was interested in trying it. Along with our Employer Engagement Officer, Ethan’s Navigator helped arrange a work placement opportunity at Marks & Spencers.

Ethan feels his placement at M&S was a very valuable experience because it helped him gain confidence and a better understanding of his abilities. Although Ethan struggled with his health during the placement, he persevered and continued attending. Ethan felt proud that he showed commitment to this, despite it being an unpaid position. The whole experience showed Ethan how work can help you ‘knuckle down and have fun’.

Ethan now has two assets which make his CV stronger and help him stand out that little bit more.

Moving on

Ethan concluded his support with Moving On Tyne & Wear after registering to study towards a formal Customer Service qualification. He started 2020 with a brand new opportunity and a newfound self-belief. He’s now independently searching for a suitable paid job.

Ethan said, “I’m a lot more confident now, still a bit shy but I’m getting there. I’ve met a load of people in the same boat as me. It’s nice to know I’m not alone with my problems. It makes me feel a bit better”.

The progress Ethan demonstrated whilst with MOTW was huge. Tom the Navigator commented on seeing a significant difference in his interpersonal skills and personal wellbeing.

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