The road to independence for young people in County Durham

My role as support worker at Moving On allows me to work with young people from a wide variety of backgrounds. It’s not an easy job; sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking. But helping make a difference in young people’s lives, and helping them overcome their barriers makes it all worthwhile, just like in the case of ‘A’.

A came to us around 18 months ago after a short stay in a foster placement. Before being in foster care, he had come to the UK as a refugee, and had very little English and no friends or family.

A engaged well with us from day 1, and has been proactive in asking for help when he has needed it, often for things which involve a language or culture barrier, like registering with doctors or the dentist, applying for ID. Despite engaging well, many of our conversations involved ‘decoding’ County Durham slang and exploring local culture.

A enrolled in ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) course shortly after arriving in the UK and has made amazing progress – particularly during his time spent with Moving On. His progress has been inspiring considering the difficulties he has faced, and the journey he has taken. A has managed to pass his driving test recently, and has gained part-time employment. He hopes to continue his driver training in order to qualify as an HGV driver in the future.

It’s one of the best parts of the job to support people from a place where they can only see the hardships of their current circumstance, to a point at which they are planning and looking forward to their future.

It’s bitter sweet to say that A is now ready to Move On to a permanent tenancy, as I will really miss working with him, but I am currently supporting him with his move to a permanent home application. A’s determination to breakdown the many barriers he had in his life coupled with his willingness to seek and accept help is inspiring, and it’s this kind of story that gets me out of bed and into the office on a morning. 

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