Read how Lauren overcame a family tragedy with the help of our IAG service. Please note name's have been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.

"At the time when I was referred to the Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) service at Moving On Durham, I was studying at college. My mum had just recently passed away, and I was really struggling to cope mentally. My dad had remarried, built a new family and our relationship started to fall apart. Despite all this, I put on a brave face. 

I thought I could hide my feelings, until one day at college I broke down in tears when my teacher asked me how I was doing. It was a simple question but it was enough to make me crack. I accepted the situation and came clean. I told my teacher I was struggling to cope with the loss of my mum. My teacher knew I had a difficult relationship with my dad, and asked where I was sleeping. I told them I was managing to scrape by, jumping from one spare bed to the next. Thankfully, my teacher had engaged with Moving On in the past, and asked me how I would feel getting in touch with the IAG service. 

We agreed to meet the IAG team at my college where I felt most comfortable opening up and explained my situation. The IAG team asked if I had any other support networks, and I told them I didn't really see my dad at all, and I was moving from house to house. Given the fact I had just lost my mum, they asked if I had any other support for my mental health like bereavement counselling. The discussion then moved to housing, and they agreed to put my name down for Moving On Housing and other local providers who offered supported accommodation. They also put me in contact with One Point. 

The IAG team put in numerous housing applications on my behalf, including one to Moving On Housing. I met the with pre tenancy worker soon after and had a really nice meeting with them. I was dubious at first, but the vibe of the meeting really settled any nerves I had. It didn't seem that long before I eventually moved in to one of their houses. The house is in a really great location and is pretty close to my college and friends, which is more than ideal! On the recommendation of IAG, I have finally started bereavement counselling, and with the help of my support worker I have gradually built a relationship with my dad again. It is still early days, but I'm so glad we are on speaking terms after everything that has happened. 

Of course, there are still many things I need to work on, but I feel I have enough support from Moving On that I can finally move forward with my life."

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