Changing lives one at a time

Case study: Changing lives one at a time

Darren engaged with the project as he found out he was a dad when his son was five months old, and presented with anxiety, general support needs, and risky behaviour.

The relationship with the partner had ended when she moved to the north of England. Darren was subsequently told he was a dad, which was not only a shock, but also presented him with emotional and practical issues, with his son so far away.

We discussed his current situation, Darren had a strong sense of duty to provide financially, as he couldn’t provide hands on support for his son. He also suffered anxiety and low mood which with no real work history and a lack of transport. This made gaining employment seem unreachable.

The relationship between Darren and his local job centre was fraught, resulting in him not meeting, or walking out of appointments, and not completing appropriate job searches. As a result he was regularly being sanctioned.

This situation was further deteriorating to the point where it was affecting Darren’s well-being, relationships with family and friends, and financial independence.

We held meetings with Darren and his employment advisor and discussed the situation. This resulted in an agreement that we could attend meetings with Darren to aid his comfort levels, and instill a routine so that he wouldn’t have his money stopped.

From this both parties gained a greater understanding of the other and relationships improved. Attendance and job searches improved and sanctions against Darren stopped.

We continued to support Darren with emotional and practical support; helping to create his first CV, supporting the development of interview skills, and confidence building.

Darren would often walk out of meetings and would refuse to go to certain public places due to his anxiety, however, after a few months intervention he developed his autonomy to the point where he opened his first bank account, volunteered with Keep Wales Tidy, attended a job interview and gained employment.

Darren states his relationships with friends and family have improved, and he is more confident in self-advocacy and engaging with services.

Darren was referred to several organisations which has resulted in him gaining additional one-to-one support around digital inclusion (to help with job searching and social networks) while he has also been granted a free laptop loan to further boost his networks and skills.

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