I was convicted of a serious offence towards the end of 2013. As a result, I lost my job, my reputation and my self-esteem and I attempted suicide during the police investigation. My wife, my family and most of my friends stood by me, but I had lost many things that were important to me. After several unsuccessful job applications I thought I would never work again.
Unlock advertised for volunteers in Spring 2014 and, having used the helpline and the information hub, I decided to apply. I was invited for interview and Chris, Debbie and the rest of the team were very welcoming.
I got the job and worked two days each week doing administrative work in the office. Chris and Debbie could see that I had much to offer and I set to work on a list of tasks that they had wanted to do but never found the time.
As well as enjoying the work, I also enjoyed the social interaction in the office and I enjoyed putting on a shirt and trousers and travelling to work each day. I felt normal again!
I think I made a positive contribution to the work of Unlock in the time I was there, but the best thing for me personally was when Debbie asked me to represent Unlock at a training workshop in London. I travelled up on the train, took part in the discussion, made some new contacts and came back with some useful information. This might seem strange, but it made such a difference to how I felt about myself. These were things that I did all the time in my old job, but now I felt normal again and part of the working world. Yes, I could still do it!
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I was offered permanent paid employment a short time later. An old friend with his own business had a vacancy, he knew I could do a job for him and knew that I was trying hard to help myself.
However, I had “unfinished business” at Unlock. Chris and Debbie had been very good to me and I could not let them down. I did one day a week for a few weeks after I started my new job and finished off some work that I wanted to finish for Unlock.
I hope you will see from the above that Unlock helped me to find my place in the world after a very traumatic experience. They helped me to get back to work, but more than that I also made some new friends. We have kept in touch and I intend to keep it that way.
Thank you Unlock!
By Dave* (name changed to protect identity)