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Real help to get back to her old self after assault

Before joining Moving on the Tyne and Wear programme, RB had suffered a serious physical assault in her neighbourhood.  The assault and subsequent injury to her wrist had a devastating effect on her health and wellbeing.  The impact was that she could no longer manage her job role and this culminated in her losing her job and her financial stability.

RB had to move home for her own safety.  The fact that she had moved to a 17th floor flat added to her problem in that she became very anxious and found it very difficult to leave her home.  RB felt very nervous about using the lifts and was terrified of coming face to face with the person who assaulted her, she was in pain and was trying to manage her deteriorating health condition.  RB described it as being ‘a prisoner’ on the 17th floor.  Eventually RB’s isolation and anxiety progressed into depression and she felt quite hopeless.  She was still in pain and had not accessed physiotherapy for her wrist.

Job Centre Plus referred their client to MOTW.  RB joined the programme and was assigned to the over 50s Innovator.  Support began quickly with the Innovator providing intensive support, addressing complex needs through one to one support and partnership working.

RB agreed to a referral for talking therapy, got an appointment within 2 weeks and attended sessions regularly.  She is finding it helpful talking through her emotions with the therapist.

Victim Support is now being accessed by Ruth and they have assigned a listener who will help her come to terms with the assault and also support with a Criminal injuries/loss of earnings claim.

Our Innovator worker supported RB in using the lifts doing trial runs together and used self-help for her panic attacks.  RB uses a paper bag for her breathing exercise and finds it works well.

Next step was to assist RB in attending the Job Centre.  RB had been struggling to get to appointments due to her overwhelming anxiety and worried about subsequent sanctions for non-attendance, this would have a knock on effect of her not being paid her Job Seekers allowance in full causing yet more stress and worry regarding how she would eat and pay household bills.

Combined support has resulted in RB attending her own appointments with Talking therapy, Victim Support and Job Centre Plus.  She has started to go to her physiotherapy sessions and has been able to remove the brace from her hand as it now stronger.

RB is feeling a lot better now and would like to volunteer and help others who are less fortunate than herself.  She recently attended a session at the local community centre with the MOTW team.  She met with the Peer Mentor Co-ordinator with a view to starting training to become a Peer mentor/Volunteer.  RB has recently completed job search and has applied for a position at St Claire hospice as a befriender

RB is far more confident now.  Her improved self-esteem is visibly apparent, she has worked through her difficulties and states she is slowly getting back to her ‘old self’.

MOTW have an open day coming up.  RB has volunteered her time to meet and greet guests and fellow participants.

RB will exit the programme soon, start her Peer Mentor course and will be invited to attend the support group for people who have experienced anxiety and or depression if she so wishes.

Fay Codling, Senior Manager (Moving on Tyne & Wear)