We would like you to make full use of what we have to offer. This information has been designed to answer some of your questions and signpost you to national organisations or websites, more detailed information can be found on our website www.nscm.co.uk, in the Young People and Adults section.
We will be interested to hear what you think about our website and the information available. If you have any ideas of what else we should include please let your Outreach Worker know.Whilst you are with NSCM, if there is anything you are unhappy about, you should discuss it with your Outreach Worker and explore ways to work round the issue.
However if you would like to raise the matter with someone else you could ask to meet with the regional manager, just call the office that is working with you. Alternatively you may wish to raise your concern in writing by completing our complaints form which you can download from http://www.nscm.co.uk, Young People and Adults section, complaints form.
Next step and me, so far...
The Next step team have been working with me now for eight months. In that short time, they've helped me considerably. I had to move from Birmingham to live in Telford for two months when I'd failed to find Uni accommodation in time. Next step worked with my Personal Advisor to provide the accommodation and did everything to make me feel comfortable and help me settle in. M and D helped me move in to the flat. M offered to give me lifts to and from the station when she could as I needed to commute to Birmingham for the two months that I was in Telford for work. She also showed me around the area so I'd know where the local shops were. She did a number of thoughtful little things, such as bringing over a plate of roast dinner one night! I'm so grateful for the care and thoughtfulness. I realise that her acts of kindness were not part of the job description and she really did not have to go out of her way to do these things.
Annie was introduced to me a couple weeks after I'd moved in and is currently my support worker. She worked with me alongside M and my Personal advisor. She helped me improve my budgeting, really focused on money management and helped me to tackle and clear my overdraft. When I moved back to Birmingham to complete my second year of Uni, A visited every week or so to check in with me. We'd go to the gallery or cinema or just have lunch. She constantly reminded me that she and the Next step team were there if and when I needed them. Just after Christmas, she delivered an amazing gift basket that the team had put together for me. I was overwhelmed. It was such a lovely gift and so much thought had gone in to it. I've even asked A to be my birthing partner after finding out I was pregnant. She happily accepted and has been supportive throughout my pregnancy as has M and the team. They have given so many of the items that I needed and helped me to shop for the rest as well as providing storage for the items.
I'm so grateful for the support that Next step continues to provide and I'm confident that my final of Uni and my first year of being a mother will go smoothly with them by my side.
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.
M and D, you took me out for a meal when I was upset and made me smile again. When I need to talk you're always approachable and understanding.
When I had trouble with my neighbours you let me move house even though it was only for a month as I was turning 18.
There have been so many good points about being with Next Step and you are all lovely to have worked with, but there is a problem with the 9AM visits. I understand that if I had a job I would have had to get up even earlier, but I do like my sleep.
You have all given so much support and help for what I want to do later in life. I have a lot more confidence and I'm not afraid to hand out CV's in a shop full of people.
So thank you so much for everything you have done for me.
I will miss you all
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.
The only bright point was my discovery of Rugby which I began to play after watching the 1995 world cup. I was soon playing both union and league at the weekend but had to sneak off on Saturdays as my parents would not approve.
I left school at 16. I flunked my GCSE's with mainly D's and E's and my confidence was at an all time low. I decided I wanted to leave home and began to look for a place on my own. I had a tough time due to my young age.
I was referred to an organization called Next Step. I was assigned a Youth worker called Julian who soon had me in a bed and breakfast while more permanent accommodation could be found.
This gave me breathing space from my family and the community and allowed me to enjoy life a little more. I could play rugby with no disapproval or sneaking off. I tried to get back into study at a local college but was having a hard time getting motivated and my confidence in my academic abilities was quite low which did not help!
Fortunately Julian did not let me laze around and delivered an ultimatum "study or work". I chose work and with Julian's help was soon working for Whitbread at their conference centre. The money wasn't much but at least I was getting experience of having to manage my finances.
Throughout the one and a half years I was with Next Step I had great encouragement from all the team there. Julian provided me with the support and advice I had never received from my family or Jewish community. This helped me develop better social, community and coping skills and allowed me to become responsible and independent. By the time I was 18 and getting my undertaking job I was pretty much fully independent and getting on with life. I still saw Julian regularly but now as a friend not a client. I am still friends with quite a few of the Next Step Team to this day.
I now live in Melbourne, Australia with my beautiful wife Carla and our two awesome sons, Caleb and Asher. I've returned to my studies, with Carla's support and this year I'll graduate from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology as Doctor of Chiropractic.
I can honestly say that without the help of Next Step (and me occasionally listening to the advice of their awesome youth workers) I may never have gotten to this point. They provided me with the skills and independence to make full use of the opportunities life has offered me.
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 H G 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.
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, K, 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 K 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.
K 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. K made my Christmas feel special.
Next Step helped me to get myself to be independent and to manage my money. Karen supported me in everything I needed support with and even when I didn’t feel like going, pushed me and got me up in the morning to make sure I was up and ready to deal with my appointments.I learnt so much about independent living with Next Step and still keep in touch with K.
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.
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 PT and PC, 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.