Planning for the future after a difficult start in life

As a support worker with Moving On Durham, I manage a caseload of 25 young people with differing support needs.

One of my clients, Kelly, came from Latvia with her mam when she was around 9 years old. Soon after this she became ‘looked after’ by the local authority, following issues in the family home. After leaving the family home, Kelly was in and out of different children’s homes until she was 18.

She was referred to us by Durham County Council’s Young People’s service when she was 18 and aging out of the care system.

When Kelly first moved in, she was NEET (not in employment, education or training). We worked closely with her to ensure that she did not become isolated and instead had a good meaningful use of her time. She was soon enrolled into a full-time college course studying mechanics, in which she thrived and went on to complete 3 years’ study, resulting in a Level 3 qualification.

Shortly after finishing college, lockdown began and Kelly was unable to undertake the work experience with Go North East that she had arranged. She was upset, but coped well through lockdown, with mostly door step visits and phone support from her support worker. She began to rebuild relationships with her family and started spending time with them more frequently.

When lockdown ended, Kelly started looking for work, and started a zero-hour contract working in hospitality in a luxury hotel that hosts weddings, proms and corporate events. She has gone from strength to strength in this area and was quickly offered full time work as she had proven she was determined, ambitious and reliable.

Kelly is a superb example of a young person who had a difficult start in life, but with some support and guidance, has managed begin living life to her full potential.

She is now ready to move on into her own permanent accommodation and I couldn’t be prouder of the young woman she has become. I have no doubt that she will succeed in anything she turns her hand to.

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