Ben's Story*

Camden person

Employment support enabled Ben to identify his goals and find ways to achieve them. Encouragement, goal setting and practical help has made a radical difference to his life...

I came to Twining around February 2012, about three months after I was discharged from hospital. After my traumatic experience and nervous breakdown, I was still having OCD symptoms and hearing voices. I was afraid of people and stayed at home most of the time.

Talking to a Twining Advisor helped me to form clear vocational goals and encouraged me to go out and try things.

My Advisor assisted me in updating my CV, identifying job leads, and applying online. Mock interviews, visiting job fairs and going to recruitment days also helped me. Attending these events and talking to potential employers helped me understand the kind of opportunities available out there in the market and also increased my confidence.

In June 2012 I found voluntary work as a catering assistant at a local homelessness charity. This experience helped me dramatically improve my mental wellbeing and my confidence. After about eight months of working there, my supervisor at this charity informed me about a vacancy for a chef in a pub and wrote a good reference for me.

So, I have been doing this chef job for about six months until I left just over two weeks ago. The reason why I left is I decided to do a Health & Social Care Level 2 course because I believe that this could lead to a better paid job in the care sector. While doing this course, I am also doing voluntary work at a college restaurant, helping out with cooking and serving customers. When I complete my course in February 2014 I hope to find a suitable job either in care or catering.

My journey so far has been full of ups and downs. However, since meeting my Twining Advisor, I have always tried to keep myself busy.

Compared to when I first came to Twining, I now feel a lot better; I am very optimistic about the future and my mental wellbeing has improved significantly.

*Due to the stigma attached to mental health, this client has chosen to withhold their real name and image.

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