Page 0021

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."

He said:

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,

email employmentsupport@ongo.co.uk

or visit ongo.co.uk/employmentsupport

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Index

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