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Thursday, 09 July 2015 08:00

Testimonial Richard Leather

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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.

 

I ended up in a hostel for the homeless in Macclesfield, this was not what I had been use to; I had had my own flat through Next Step. Had I done what was asked of me and been a good tenant I would have been able to stay in the property and taken on the lease myself, like other young people in my area. I recently went to the Bolton office to collect my washing machine that Next Step kindly stored for me. I spoke to the staff there whom where interested in what I was doing now. I explained that I wished I could return to Next Step as I now realise how hard the real world is. I am now settled in the Luton area, I have a steady girlfriend, whom I live with, I am the step father of her two children aged 3 and 5 and we plan to marry in July 2008.

I stopped self harming before I left Next Step and I am proud to say that I have not self harmed since, although I still receive medication for my depression this has been reduced and I am now aware that it is not wise to just stop taking it, hopefully within the next two months I will stop taking medication altogether.

I have had employment since leaving the programme, however I am unemployed at the moment but I am seeking employment with my local refuge company.

I have been really positive since the programme ended and I would like to thank Helen Griffiths for her help and support. I would also like to say to other young people if you're lucky enough to join Next Step work with them as it's for your own benefit. I would recommend Next Step to anyone.

 

 

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