Money Sorted in D2N2 case study: WEA & Citizen's Advice Bureau

Posted 13.05.2021

I’m a 54 year old, former engineer and lecturer, was married, had a ‘normal’ life, nice home, working, two cars, holidays abroad, etc.  My life changed dramatically when my father died suddenly and my wife left me.  I developed an addiction, lost my university job, lost my driving licence  and give up my costly apartment because I could no longer afford it.  I became estranged from the rest of my family due to my addiction problems and ended up in a rundown bedsit with vermin problems in a rough part of town

I moved hoping for a fresh start but was unable to hold down work for long due to my issues, my addiction escalated until ultimately I found myself living under a canal bridge, homeless, broke and friendless.  Suicidal ? Absolutely…

A lady who lived nearby found me unconscious in my sleeping bag one night, it was January and freezing. Thankfully she called an ambulance and I was taken to hospital and stayed on the acute ward for three weeks. I quite simply owe her my life.

When I left hospital I moved into a squat and began working with recovery services who found me a room at a hostel. After working with the recovery team I was given a place at a residential rehab centre and completed 3 months rehabilitation.  I haven’t used any drugs since and my drinking is under control, I probably drink less than the ‘average’ person now.

On leaving I moved to Buxton, working where I could but getting and keeping work with my medical history and reliability issues was tough.  I ended up in a whole load of debt and wasn’t coping financially or emotionally, which was when I went to Citizen’s Advice Bureau and they arranged my debt relief order and showed me how to manage my life better.

I was assigned a Personal Navigator, who has been brilliant, she made everything clear to me about what I needed to do and was absolutely thorough in helping me address my issues.

This year she invited me onto the Money Sorted in D2N2 project, introducing me for the first time to the WEA and I was assigned my brilliant tutor who guided perfectly through the course. Thanks to her and a great team effort I have now just recently qualified as a volunteer money mentor and am working with my Personal Navigator for Citizen’s Advice helping people with financial issues and the anxiety, worry and loss in confidence that being in a bad situation brings.

In all honesty it is a major turning point in my life and an engineering career that I no longer had any passion for. I have a different purpose now thanks to WEA and CAB and my life is manageable and I don’t have the anxiety and worry that I did before.

WEA’s teaching and training are delivered clearly, concisely and with the utmost professionalism, in a safe and happy environment. I can’t thank them enough for providing me with the training and knowledge I need to succeed at what is an exciting, fresh start and I look forward to evolving in my new role thanks to their efforts. Nothing was too much for them and I was solidly supported all the way by both WEA and CAB.

It is an enormous struggle to climb back up life’s ladder, no matter how far you fall. Being encouraged to address my issues and fears face on, knowing that I had these amazing people ‘in my corner’ enabled me to take control back of my life again.

And the best part?  I smile a whole lot more than I have done for some time… 🙂

BBO is having a significant impact on individual lives, supporting people to increase their confidence, independence and achieve their employment aspirations.

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