“You have done more for me than my own family. I don’t know where I would be now if I hadn’t been referred to you; I was a mess. Now my friends stop me in the street to tell me that I look different and happier. I would recommend you and Steps to Work to anyone who needs the help”

Christopher was referred to the Bridges Project via his advisor at Bilston Jobcentre in February 2017. Issues with his landlord and his property was in a state of disrepair, along with escalating debts, Christopher was in a rut and could not see an end to his problems and his worries.

The conditions in his home were causing him much anxiety and stress, his landlord was refusing to make essential repairs such as the damage caused by vermin, dangerous electrical sockets and poorly fitted UPVC windows, which made the property draughty, cold and uneconomical to run. His fridge had not worked for over 4 years, resulting in food being spoiled, shopping every other day was costly and wasteful.

With the help and support of Bethan, Bridges Project Officer Christopher has slowly made progress. Bethan has supported Christopher to source new clothing, improve personal presentation skills and help him to network with other external agencies for support in particular WMBC’s Housing Standards Team in order to push the landlord to make urgent repairs and Helping Hand For the Homeless Charity, who have donated a fridge freezer which has helped with saving money and limit food waste and a washing machine to help with personal presentation skills.

He has also worked closely with Claire from CAB in order to address debt issues and work on budgeting plans, Christopher demonstrated his commitment to achieving financial stability over a period of 3 months and was successful in being awarded a grant from the Charis Trust to help with some historic debts. 

He also attends a job club at a local community centre in Willenhall, which helps him access ICT facilities and make new friends and additional support which has prevented Christopher from being so isolated. He has also attended a 4 week Confidence and Motivation Course at Steps to Work – which was the first training sessions Christopher had attended since school.

Chris states “You have done more for me than my own family Beth. I don’t know where I would be now if I hadn’t been referred to you. I was a mess. I took no pride in my appearance and my home. The debts and the conditions in my home were really making me depressed. Things were so bad. Now my friends stop me in the street to tell me that I look different and happier. I would recommend you and Steps to Work to anyone who needs the help”.

Chris’ aim is to improve his money management skills and communication skills. Chris is very open to re-training and broadening his horizons.