From being in a dark place to helping others face similar feelings

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Daniel felt incredibly lost in himself, and when things became too much at work, he felt like life was not worth living.  Thankfully he found Twining Enterprise and his Employment Specialist, Helen, at just the right time.  Helen supported Daniel to find different work in a new sector, which has helped him return to a better place in his life and continues to help him on his recovery journey.  Here Daniel tells us his story in his own words…

I was really lost in myself.  I was caring for my mum, looking after a family and holding down a physically demanding job in the construction industry.  It just all became too much, and I ended up having to leave the employment I was in.  This made life even harder, and I really felt that things were just about as bad as they could be.  I didn’t feel like I could go on anymore.  I knew that if I didn’t do something it was all going to end very badly.

I decided to go to the Jobcentre to try and get some help to find a new job and they suggested Twining Enterprise may be able to help support me into finding work whilst also supporting my mental health.  The Jobcentre contacted Twining Enterprise for me, and then Helen, my Employment Specialist, made direct contact with me.  It was a really simple process.

Unfortunately, my mum then became terminally ill, and I had to deal with her end-of-life care.  Helen was there the whole time - always available to listen.  I didn’t know her personally which meant I never felt judged by her.  Also, she was always only ever a phone call away.  It was hard to be on an employment support programme when I had so much on my plate with my mum, but one of the main reasons I didn’t quit was because of the continuous support I felt from Helen.

She initially advised me to take some time for myself; she knew there was no point trying to get into employment if I was not in a good place in myself.  As I started to get back on my feet again, Helen also gently coached me to create personal targets and also helped me to create a wellbeing score. 

When things started to feel better, I initially wanted to get back to my previous career in construction.  But it just wasn’t working.  Both Helen and I were looking for job opportunities for me and it didn’t take Helen long to find one with a big utility company.  I went for an interview but it didn’t go too well and I didn’t feel it was the right employer for me either, but it did give me the confidence to go for another one; it was almost like a practice run.

I then found another opportunity through a job fair that I went to myself.  I went for the interview and got the job!  It’s a job where you can care for people – you can really make a difference to someone.  I’ve always worked in the construction sector and this new job role as an Immigration Custody Officer is just completely different.  The people that I look after are incredibly scared.  My role is to look after their welfare.  I find it helps them, but it also helps me, to be helping them.  It’s like we’re helping each other.  I can really relate to how they feel and give them support.

I’ve been in the role for seven weeks now and just completed all my training last week.  I feel like I’ve really achieved something!

I’m so pleased I haven’t gone down the path I was heading down, and a big part of that was thanks to Helen.  I have massive respect for her.  She was such a good listener and gave such good advice.  And that was enough really.  The world is too busy.  But she gave me the space and time just to speak and be listened to.

When I first joined the Twining programme I thought it was just another company that wanted to rush you into work, but it wasn’t like that at all, Helen was really there for me.

In myself I now feel like a different person.  Although my mum is not here anymore, which is hard as I was really close to my mum, I’ve learned from what has happened.  Now my dark feelings have completely passed.  Job done Helen!

If anyone reading this is in the same position that I was, I would say that it worked for me, so it can work for anyone.  I’ve also managed to change careers as part of the process and find something that I’ll be able to keep doing for years to come.  So, it’s been successful for lots of reasons!  I really believe that everything happens for a reason.

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