I can always rely on Peter to help me!

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After becoming ill and needing to take time off work, Susan fell into a deep depression as the anxiety about returning to her old job grew.  She sought help from NHS Talking Therapies who recommended she get in touch with Twining Enterprise for support with going back to work.  This is when she met Peter – her Employment Specialist and beacon of light in a dark time.  Peter was always there for her no matter what – reliable, reassuring and ready to support her in any way she needed.  Susan was generous enough to share her full story with us and you can read it here…

I became physically unwell around a year ago now.  I had difficulty with my stomach and it meant I had to stay off work for quite a while to try and get well.  It was during this time that I became very anxious and started experiencing panic attacks.  I became so anxious that I couldn’t leave the house.  On top of that I lost my dog who had been my companion for 17 years.  That felt like the last straw.  I just became really down.

The medical side was horrendous too – I constantly had to chase up people, appointments and results, and it took me over six months to eventually find out what was wrong with me.  I ended up needing an operation.  However, in that time I had lost my social and work life and mentally felt much worse by being indoors all the time.  My worry about going back to work also started to increase and ended up giving me depression.  I started taking anti-depressants and signed up for NHS Talking Therapies.  It’s through the Talking Therapies that I found out about Twining Enterprise.

I went to meet my Employment Specialist, Peter, and he put me at ease straightaway.  He was just so lovely – I instantly felt comfortable with him.  I’d started to lose hope and wondered what he would actually do for me.  However, he was absolutely wonderful, and I felt no pressure at all from him.  He said he’d do whatever I needed him to do, to help me.

At this point I was still worried about my employer who I was still working for.  Peter contacted them to let them know I was trying to come back to work.  He put things down in writing for me which really helped.  I saw him once a week and he helped with other emails and work administration that I needed doing.  He always showed me what he had written so I knew exactly what was being said and I felt in full control of everything.  Whatever I said to him I knew it was not going to go any further, unless I wanted it to.  It was just so useful to have someone there to help get me through some of the administrative side of things, which was hard to navigate when I was already feeling anxious about returning to work.

When it eventually came to me going back to work, they put me in an office all by myself and I had no one there to support me.  I was literally in a room by myself.  Peter continued to provide me with support, even once I went back to work, so I was able to tell him all about it.  Just having someone there to help me who wasn’t judging me or pushing me in a particular direction, really helped so much. I just really felt that he was there for me - just wanting to help me and do the best he could for me.  He also helped by emailing my manager about how I was feeling.

I didn’t even know about the Twining Enterprise service until Talking Therapies recommended it.  Peter probably doesn’t realise it, but he has really helped me enormously.  I don’t think even I realised it at the time, when I was in the middle of it all, but looking back over those months I can see how much his support really helped me get through such a difficult time.  Even now I still get support from Peter even though I’m back at work, and I like how he always gets in touch to remind me about our meetings.  I can rely on him.

Other support services have made me feel like a number, but with this service, I felt like a person.  This is why I stuck with it really, for myself, but also for Peter, because I wanted him to know how much he has helped me.  I knew he was there for me.  Even when he went on holiday he reassured me that he would be there when he came back.  He also always gives me the choice of when our meetings happen.  Plus, he always calls when he says he will – I’m totally reassured that he will ring as scheduled – and I look forward to telling him how I’m progressing.

I don’t think he realises how much he has helped me.  He has done so well.  If he hadn’t done so well, I probably wouldn’t have turned up to our meetings.  I would have just turned away as I wouldn’t have wanted the anticipation and hope, only for that to be dashed and me to be let down again.  But Peter was always there for me.  I just felt comfortable with him from day one.  He just asked me what I wanted him to do – and I just felt like I could really trust him – he would only do what I wanted him to.  He would always show me what he wrote in emails – so there were no concerns for me.  I had no worries.  I felt like I had control over the situation but at the same time he was helping me.

I’m looking back now and I can see with clarity how much Peter and the Twining service has helped me.  I’m so grateful for Peter.  I thank him with all my heart as I have been so pleased to have him there through this difficult time in my life.  I want to say to others reading this – please don’t give up at the first hurdle – trust these people – Twining are people that are there to help you.

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