Before coming to Mustard Tree I was in a pretty bad place. All the experiences I’d had in work made me think that it wasn’t for me and I suffered from really bad anxiety that meant the idea of even going for an interview was terrifying. My time at Back on Track was a massive help, and then I was referred to the Freedom Project in February 2013.
At first I was really nervous about what Mustard Tree would be like, about meeting a load of new people and what they’d think of me. To be honest, it was hard to find the motivation to make myself go. But I kept at it and made friends with a great group of people, and started to feel like I was actually gaining experience that I could use.
When I became a volunteer supervisor after a few months, it was a big confidence boost. People had faith in me! Not having a job had always been something my mum and me argued about. I managed to get a job with First Transpennine in December 2013 and when I told her the good news, she cried. I think she was just so proud of me. We’re getting on a lot better now, it’s probably the best it’s ever been.
It’d been so long since I’d had job that I didn’t really know what to expect, but the work skills that I’d learnt as part of the Freedom Project helped a lot. I enjoy getting to travel around the country and having a sense of purpose. I’ve been there for over a year and a half and I’m hoping I’ll be there for even longer. Finding my own place to rent and keeping myself in work are my main priorities at the moment.
Mustard Tree is an excellent place for people who have been down. They can come here to get experience and find a job. All the staff were supportive and encouraged me to make positive steps in my life. It wasn’t always easy for me, but during my time here I learnt to be patient and be more mindful. If I never came to Mustard Tree, I think I would still be unemployed, in a negative environment and would have fallen back into my old ways.