One of our service users has kindly shared some words with us about his experience with Forward Leeds…

“I came into Forward Leeds and started to see Joy just before Christmas. The Employment, Training and Education sessions I have had have been the most important aspect of my recovery and have made me feel safe about getting better.

Before, I was frightened of committing to interventions that I didn’t understand and always worried that I might not be capable of moving forward. I worried about letting myself and other people down and possibly moving backwards and going back in my shell or hiding behind alcohol. I felt like I was buried under a council rubbish tip. My hand was waving but I wasn’t all right. I wanted people to listen and help me. At Forward Leeds people are doing that.

Chris as my worker really encouraged me and suggested I join the Silver Surfers group at the library. He even offered to go with me but I had a friend to go with. I really enjoyed it and it stopped me being scared of the whole world of internet out there. I am still going and it has really helped with my confidence. It was Chris who referred me to Joy and who rang me up to suggest that I might be interested in Step Up Into Construction. Before he worked with me I would have liked to do it but I just wouldn’t have had the confidence to “Step Up”.

I was keen to join Step Up Into Construction. I was a bit apprehensive in case I was moving too fast and might lose everything I had built up by being made to rush. This has not happened because I have worked with a sincere person who I came to trust and believe in and I feel safe and positive about my future prospects. Joy saw into me gave me positive energy and has helped me to see what I am capable of. I know I can complete this course. I am putting a CV together and doing independent study for my CSCS card which I’m enjoying even though I’m not much of a reader or writer. I don’t just want to pass the CSCS test. I want to pass with distinction.

I worked before I became ill and feel confident that in time I will be able to do it again. The same person is still in there but he hasn’t been out to look around for a while. All my life I wanted to work and I think SUIC has been designed for me. As a consequence of this mending process I hope to pass on to others who are in a situation, lost like I was, or even worse than I was, the positives of gaining skills, talking with people who mentor positively, and pulling yourself out of the pool of depression and being part of the human race again.”