“Before joining the Building Better Opportunities Bridges project with Trident Reach I was doing nothing and I didn’t socialise at all.  However, since working with the staff from Bridges I now feel I have more opportunities available to me”

Mark Thomas is 55 years old and lives in Wednesbury.  Mark suffers with depression which he has had for most of his adult life.  However, it did not prevent Mark from building a diverse career in the Army, sports coaching, international banking and real estate. However,  Mark’s depression worsened and came to a head due to personal issues which took its toll and impacted on every area of his life. 

Before Mark joined the Bridges project with Trident Reach he was not accessing any type of employability services and spent most of his days at home doing nothing. However on the 26th May Mark was passing through Wednesbury Market and his attention was immediately caught by the DIY workshop that was being run by Trident Reach at the Community Hub in the market.  Mark was approached by the staff who engaged with Mark and informed him of the project and what it had to offer. Mark said he was pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the team. The staff discussed Mark’s employability support needs and the target of being involved with charity work and to become involved with life coaching was set. As Mark had enjoyed the DIY workshop so much it was also agreed that he would continue to attend to complete further projects. 

Mark had a clear direction of what he wanted to achieve in the near future however, staff advised for Mark to do voluntary work as a way of refreshing his employment skills as he had been unemployed for a number of years.  Mark also decided that in the meantime he would continue to engage with the DIY workshops. He enjoys the workshops and has so far made two large planters out of pallets.

Mark has since been supported to find a voluntary placement at West Bromwich Library as a Health Zone worker , which encourages people to engage in free sessions to use exercise equipment at Central, West Bromwich library. Mark feels that this is the beginning of a great opportunity in achieving his ultimate goal in sports and charity work with young people.