It was time for me step out and do something to overcome my depression, gain a routine of work and overcoming my social anxiety, a tall order for anyone. Initially I came to the Mustard Tree to offer my services at their Job Club and was pointed in the direction of the Freedom Project which turned out to suit me better. I wanted to get back into employment after being out of work for a number of years and a positive step was volunteering. This way I could help others and help myself gain work experience.

To be honest I was anxious, but the friendly atmosphere, non-judgmental attitude of the staff and volunteers, has brought me encouragement and has helped me to achieve a lot more than I was expecting. I have gained confidence and my future is looking brighter.

I have made new friends and now have gained hope for my future. Being a part of the Freedom Project has opened new opportunities for me; this last month I took part on a Business Administration course with Skills and Work Solutions, I gained work experience at Manchester Metropolitan University. I have met new people and one of my colleagues even showed me how to cook Chinese.

I attended a motivational course with i2i which has encouraged me to reach for my goals. I have refreshed my skills and gained confidence to apply for three suitable positions, including a volunteer supervisor, assistant manager at the Mustard Tree and an assistant administrator at the Manchester Metropolitan University.

Through my short time at the Mustard Tree I realise that I already have skills and experience, I just need to regain my confidence. I am now not only looking for any job, but one that will give me time to put something back into my community. I hope that more people will become aware of the work of the Mustard Tree and want to get involved.

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