Turning a life
aroundNot so long ago, D.A seemed to have everything. He was assistant headteacher of a special
needs school, his marriage was successful, and he had lots to look forward to.
Or so it appeared. He soon began to experience issues at work and, combined with a stressful work schedule, his mental
health quickly went downhill. By the end of last year, D.A's marriage had broken down and he became homeless before moving
between hostels and even spending around three months in a tent.
Through it all though, he never lost sight of his faith - his care and belief in others, his love of charity work and helping people
to feel good. Soon, help was at hand for him too.
He was referred to our Employment Support service and Clare, who works in the team. She explained our Building Better
Opportunities (BBO) project which includes mental health support.
D.A said: "I felt trusted and at ease straight away. I used to put on an act and say I was okay when I wasn't, but I could be myself
when I met Clare and the team."
He soon enrolled on a MindWorks course, part of our life-coaching and emotional wellbeing service Ongo Talk, and other
training available through our partnership with Adult Skills. He also went on a trip to Hall Farm to increase his confidence.
Coronavirus lockdown hit, but D.A continued to receive regular phone calls and support from Clare whilst doing distance
learning courses. Before long, he signed up as an NHS volunteer to help the most vulnerable people, and his improved selfbelief has led
to him applying for full-time work at some local care homes.
He explained: "I have a passion in helping peoples' mental health, and I dedicate my life to supporting others. If I'm able to help
just one person, then I've made a difference for them and that's all that matters."
Months ago, D.A's dismay and despair was clear to see. Now with improved self-esteem, a future to look forward to, and a new
positive outlook - life has certainly changed for the 47-year-old.
"Without the help and
support I've had from Clare and the
team, I wouldn't be anywhere near
where I am today.
"Everybody in the team has been
excellent -they've always had time for
me, they have a real passion for putting
others first and to know that they
genuinely care for you and your
future cannot be underestimated.
"They've completely changed
what my future looks like
- I'm so grateful for that."
Did you know?
D.A writes songs, poems, jokes
and quotes in his spare time - he's
even got a CD coming out soon!
Check out one of his own sayings:
'The finest people, like the finest
steels, are often tempered in the
hottest of furnaces.'
To find out more about the support available,
or visit ongo.co.uk/employmentsupport