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East Durham man supported from ‘sofa surfing’ to carer role

Feb 2, 2023 | Leisure & Lifestyle

A County Durham man who worked to overcome addiction has thanked those who helped him find a job supporting others.

David, from East Durham, came to Employability Durham after spending some time with an independent charity for people affected by drug and alcohol addiction.

Although being clean for four years, the 26-year-old had been ‘sofa surfing’ between friends and family, was unemployed, and lacking in self-confidence.

He was referred to the Durham County Council employability service, which provides career advice, information and support for people aged 25 and over who live in the county.

David was appointed to a mentoring officer and enrolled with the L!NKCD programme, a scheme delivered by Employability Durham which helps people aged 18 and above overcome obstacles preventing them from getting work.

The service first spent some time with David to understand his situation, and identified that help with housing, confidence building, job searching and applications would be beneficial.

An action plan was then created with realistic timescales to help David achieve his goals.

With help in searching for training and job opportunities that matched his skill set, David navigated the process of application forms, references, and DBS checks.

Though he’d been offered a job, the process of checks took time, particularly with his complicated background, so David continued to apply for other work as well as completing additional training.

In the background, the Employability Durham team explored every avenue available to secure David the references he needed. He was also supported through the process of securing his own property and applications for white goods, furniture, food, and personal care items.

David’s hard work paid off, and, in July 2022, he started a job as a support worker where he now provides care to others.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We are delighted that David has regained his independence, confidence, and successfully secured employment.

“Employability Durham provides information, advice and support to help people at every stage of their employment journey, so that they feel prepared and confident in starting their career.”

David said: “Employability Durham has been a great support for me in my time of need. I was able to find a job where I can now help others and get to a position where I’m living independently with a lot more confidence. I would highly recommend the service to others in the same situation.”

For more information about Employability Durham, visit www.durham.gov.uk/employability or follow the service’s Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/EmployabilityDurham

Alternatively, people can contact the team by emailing employability@durham.gov.uk or calling 03000 262 009.