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Real Stories: A Career in Care

Mark standing in from of Ocean Road Community Centre

At Moving On Tyne & Wear (MOTW), our employment support isn’t a rushed process. For many, the journey towards employment is hard work. A large number of our participants have unique health needs which need to be managed in new environments. What’s more, being out of work for a long time can have a significant impact on confidence. 

In this blog post, we share Mark’s story. 


Mark joined MOTW in February 2018. He has struggled with physical and mental ill-health over the years, after having a heart attack some time ago.

Jobcentre Plus recommended Mark joined MOTW to help him build confidence, complete additional training and find work experience. It was important for Mark to get support which also addressed his health issues and didn’t push him into anything he wasn’t comfortable with.

Mark had been volunteering prior to joining MOTW in roles such a befriending and helping community organisations set up for events. Initially, Mark joined the South Tyneside peer mentoring project which ran at the beginning of the programme. He completed an informal qualification called ‘Community Peer Mentoring Awareness’. Mark states, “from doing that, I really want to do support work”.

Finding the right path

When Mark realised he could make his compassion for others into a job, MOTW supported him through completing an NVQ qualification in Health and Social Care and a certificate in first aid. Mark remarks about how these qualifications have been a great experience for him. During the winter, he came across someone who had passed out. He was able to use what he’d learned on the first aid course to ensure the person was safe until emergency services arrived.

Slowly, Mark found he was participating in more and more activities which were not only helping his employability but also developing his social skills. Fast forward to today, Mark runs his own men’s walking group with over 20 members. Every Monday, South Sheilds locals venture out together for an activity which helps them stay fit and keeps them socially active!

As Mark’s confidence has begun to grow more and more – we know it’ll soon be time for him to move on from our programme. So, MOTW has helped Mark find a part-time opportunity at a supported housing facility where he’ll be able to try out being a carer in a real environment. Mark’s volunteering has helped him realised he can excel in a care-based role.

He says, “I’ve got a massive confidence boost working with MOTW and the qualifications side of things… it’s been brilliant. I would definitely recommend it to other people, it’s helped me a lot.”

Mark’s Navigator, Julie, commented, “His confidence has been the main thing. I just feel he’s come on leaps and bounds.


Do you relate to Mark’s story? Get in touch to discuss how we can help you.

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