experiences & testimonials

Now I'm turning 18 I'm going to be out of your care soon. It only feels like yesterday when you moved me into Millbank at 16.

You have all done so much for me and I thank you all so much for that. I have to admit that Carmen was the best worker you ever had and then Gemma came along.

It's nice to have a worker that isn't that much older than me. She would understand, listen and give you some guidance on messy situations. Jill is lovely, funny, always caring and she knows how to make you smile when you are upset or ill.

10,000 miles later ... from Hackney to Melbourne.

(Testimonial from one of the earliest young people to come on to our independence training programme.)

My name is Gabriel Parker. I grew up in the orthodox Jewish community in Stamford Hill. With my 2 brothers and 2 sisters, I was brought up in a very strict environment. We were very poor and had to rely on handouts of food and clothing to get by.

Things really began to go pear shaped for me not long after my 13th birthday. Our family was rocked by the effects of abuse and began to tear apart. I began to steal money from my parents and run away. I was doing poorly at school and no longer wanted to be involved with the religion, especially in light of what was going on with the family at the time.

I was with NSCM for nearly two years, starting on a Semi-Independent programme, working towards an Independent programme, 

I never engaged fully during my time with Next Step, I thought I would be supported for ever no matter what I did, believe me I did play up, I coursed damage to my property on more than one occasion, even though Next Step would deduct monies from my allowances, I still thought I could get away with it. I would miss meetings with my worker; I would only attend if it suited me. I did not realise how important the support I was receiving was, until my programme ended in July 2007, Next Step still agreed to help me find accommodation although it was my fault that I had no were to live.

When one lucky lady met Peter Andre her dream came true

I was placed with Next Step as I had had problems at my previous placement.  I was with Next Step for over a year and never had any problems in my key working sessions.  My key worker, Karen, was always on point with our sessions, and in those sessions I learnt how to put up curtains by myself, learnt how to register water, gas, tv, bills etc.  I accidently broke my door and they nearly had to pay for a new one, instead Karen brought her tools and we fixed it together.  The shower head also wasn’t working, instead of getting the maintenance people to fix it, me and Karen went to B&Q, got a new one and fixed it ourselves.  She explained that when I moved in alone I’d have to pay for all that to get fixed, so it was better that I learnt how to do it.

Karen was the best.  I literally told her everything, even when I got in trouble or whatever, and that’s because we created a good relationship even though we did have disagreements.  I had never had my own Christmas tree before and we put one up together.  Karen made my Christmas feel special.

Thought you may like to see this. Mel and Dave with Gordon Banks on our stand in Stafford.


I joined Next Step in February 2007 on a Semi-Independent Programme. Over the twelve months that I worked with Next Step I received encouragement and support from both Phil Travis and Paul Clarke, who had both been my Outreach Workers.

I learnt how to budget my money and received help looking for work and for my own accommodation. In January 2008 I moved into my new home, found with the support from my workers and my placement with Next Step ended very positively.

I would like to thank Next Step and my Outreach workers for their help in achieving my independence and encourage other Young People to engage with the programme and use the support offered by Next Step.



Testimonial from Emma

I was with Next Step from the age of 15. Julian was my keyworker. I went from my residential unit to a Next Step flat in Catford. Julian was a fantastic keyworker who help me through a lot of difficulties I was having in my relationship with my social worker.

I learnt a lot of independence skills from Julian, including budgeting for my bills, cooking skills and shopping efficiently.

Many years have passed and I'm still in contact with him and all of Next Step, and feel that if I ever have a problem I need help with I can still approach him and Next Step for support.

I am now training to become a PCSO and ultimately to become a Police Officer.



NSCM – Testimony from Outreach Worker

Since working for NSCM I have found the whole team , my manager, all the office staff and other outreach workers to be very supportive and encouraging.  It is reassuring that whenever I have a question, which initially was every 5 minutes,  the response is almost immediate which helps in what is a challenging but rewarding role.

Whenever I have felt that a situation with a young person is problematic, NSCM have always been able to resolve it and give structured advice.

Having worked for a number of organisations that support vulnerable young people it is refreshing to work for an organisation that has such positive outlook, supports and allows the face to face work to be as meaningful as possible, with good supervision and a framework that keeps record keeping succinct.

Erika Allen

November 2105


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