1:1 mentor support with housing, a criminal record and substance misuse


John was referred to Konnect Communities by the probation service in May 2021. John had a history of offending and substance misuse amongst other things. At the point of referral, the probation service felt John was ‘doing better’ but would benefit from 1:1 mentor support to create a structured plan to address several ongoing issues he was facing.

Becky, our People Hub Mentor met with John, for an informal chat so they could both ensure that John would benefit from support with Konnect. John explained that he suffers with depression, anxiety, and complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for which he is prescribed medication and in receipt of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

John explained that he just wanted to “live a ‘normal life’ where he has a nice flat and a 9-5 job”. John had studied during his time in prison and had several qualifications, and he was keen to continue to develop his knowledge and skills.

John explained that his supported housing provider had applied to the court to evict him from his accommodation and that he had been unable to secure legal representation despite attempting to contact a solicitor on several occasions. Becky could see immediately that the imminent eviction and difficulties in securing legal representation was affecting John’s anxiety and depression. Furthermore, if John were made homeless he could be at risk of relapsing back in to offending and substance misuse.

 

The task for Becky and John was to work together to create a strategy addressing the key issues John was facing. Broadly speaking this strategy would focus on support with the imminent housing issue he was facing, increasing his employability prospects, ensuring communication with relevant support services, improving his mental health, and encouraging a positive mindset and greater resilience.

 

  • Support John with his housing issues. Due to the imminent eviction date the first thing Becky did (with John’s consent) was to contact a legal expert to ask for guidance on how to support John with the upcoming court case. As a court hearing date had already been set, Becky contacted the court to check if she was able to attend with John which the court confirmed was allowed. During the hearing Becky and John asked for an adjournment so John could find a legal expert who could properly represent him in court.
  • Support John in securing legal representation. Becky supported John to find and secure legal representation for his adjourned court case.
  • Improve John’s mindset and mental well-being. Becky highlighted Konnect Communities Life Choices course and explained the benefits of attending in helping build self-esteem and confidence, identifying skills and strengths, relating to others and proactively taking control of your life.
  • Help John to continue to develop his skills and knowledge. Support John with his desire to continue to develop new skills and knowledge, John was successful in gaining a place on a Bricklaying Course at Penwith College which is due to commence summer 2022. Becky was also able to help with completing an application for funding which made the course free to attend.
  • Attend a CSCS course. John enrolled on to a course with ReBuild Southwest to complete a CSCS qualification (qualification for anybody looking to work in the construction industry).
  • Improve John’s employability prospects. John has been referred to National Careers Service for specialist employment support to help him successfully search for work, apply for jobs and interview
  • Provide interview clothing. Becky organised smart clothing for John from Konnect’s participant fund to wear firstly at his court hearing but then for job interviews.

 

Since starting with Konnect in May 2021 and with Becky’s 1:1 mentor support John has made significant changes in his life. John now has stable accommodation for the next 3 years which gives him a base to build from. True to his goals John has completed a couple of construction related courses and gained new qualifications. John has started working with the National Careers Service to improve his employability prospects further and is making excellent progress with their help! John has also reconciled with members of his family which were estranged – all positive outcomes for John.

Recently John received news about a family bereavement which impacted on his depression, in the past John would have dealt with the bereavement with alcohol and drugs. However, attending the Life Choices course has built his resilience and helped him employ coping techniques to deal with this and other challenges.

Reviewing the original action plan John and Becky created at the start John could see the journey he has been on, the progress he has made and how he has developed a new sense of self-worth and resilience.

Becky and John have looked at ongoing longer-term support including the amazing support that ‘Man Down’ provides to men in Cornwall.

Everybody here at Konnect Communities are incredibly proud of the hard work John has put in and the progress he has made in the face of adversity. We wish him well for the future – having watched his determination and commitment we’re confident John will achieve the goals he now sets for himself.

If you are looking for 1:1 mentor support with any of the issues above (or know somebody else who is looking for help) feel free to get in touch with Konnect.