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Real Stories: A Journey Towards Self-Employment

Man with light shining on his face

Mark has been out of work for five years due to mental health issues including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and Adjustment Disorder. He was in the Armed Forces until he was 26 years old. Complex mental health has meant Mark has struggled over the years. He has done his best by seeking help, taking the prescribed medicine and working hard towards his recovery from substance misuse.

When he met MOTW staff, he was coming to the end of support delivered by a Veteran Support Group.

During his personal battles with drug addiction, Mark and his wife lost custody of their children. Since then, they’ve been fighting to regain custody and bring stability back into their household.

Mark’s progress so far is indisputable and he’s been clean since December 2019.

Seeking employment support

After taking charge of improving his personal circumstances, Mark knew his next step was getting help to find work.

Mark met his Navigators at a Veteran Support Group. After hearing about Moving On Tyne & Wear (MOTW), he submitted a self-referral as the next step of support. He has been highly motivated since joining the programme. His focus from the start has been self-employment.

Setting up a business allows Mark to have flexibility. With a complex custody battle with a heavy schedule, Mark knows he needs to find work which will fit around his life. Self-employment will allow this to do this. As a Veteran, Mark is in no way ‘work-shy’ – he’s eager to get back to stability and a position where he’s able to earn. He says he feels ‘lost’ without a job.

His goal is to be a Scrap Worker or Remover. To achieve this, there are various licencing and permit requirements. Mark already has his own van, and MOTW has helped Mark fund a Waste Carriers Licence. These are very important steps to help him get started.

MOTW has also put Mark in touch with project partners, North East BIC who have given him information about courses relating to cash-flow and record keeping. He is considering taking part in courses like this as his business grows.

Mark continues to benefit from the support of a strong network of friends and family.

Personal growth

Mark is still working with MOTW and will continue to do so as he establishes his business. Mark feels the programme has helped him tackle significant barriers to work in a financial and personal sense.

Mark’s Navigator, Cailin states: “I have noticed a positive change in him as he is starting to fill his days with sorting out things ready to work and busying himself. Additionally, he has progressed with the custody fight to get his children back.

“Mark would not have been able to fund the licence he requires without MOTW’s support as his Dad can only help so much. The programme has also been helpful to him in terms of navigating him in the right direction of what else to consider for self-employment work. Moreover, being on the programme has been positive evidence to the Court that he is trying to support his family financially, and by improving his mental wellbeing.”

Cailin and Mark as catching up on a weekly basis. Mark is pleased he has a source of support as and when he needs it.

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