Sean, aged 34, has a borderline personality disorder and struggles with depression and mental health. He has worked in the past, but only in temporary, agency or casual jobs - mainly manual work on minimum wage. He has a son and had a partner and was living down south, but in 2012 everything went wrong and he came back up north. By the time he came to the Motiv8 programme earlier this year, Sean had been unemployed for 6 years and was spending time between his Dad’s sofa and living in a tent at the side of the M60. He was also smoking cannabis and struggling to make ends meet. He had been trying to be self-employed, as he recognised that his illness did not make him an ideal employee for a company to take on.
Sean was referred to Motiv8 by his ESA advisor and was allocated Kojoe as his keyworker. At this stage he had been homeless for 3 weeks and was in need of help to get him out of his situation.
How has Motiv8 made a difference to your life?
Since being part of the Motiv8 programme, Sean has been signposted to many organisations by his keyworker. This personalised, tailored approach to meet his needs means that Motiv8’s specialist partners, such as Shelter, and other partners and contacts, have been able to help Sean find a new flat. He was referred to Shelter as a matter of urgency and is now living in a 1 bed flat in Irlam and has had help from a charity to help him furnish it. He has also accessed local food banks when he has needed to and has made the decision to give up smoking cannabis. Sean is aware that this will help his mental wellbeing and also help him with budgeting.
Sean knows that his mental health condition is not going to go away. He has always felt that employers would not understand and that he would need to make his own way. Keeping busy and helping other people is what helps him.
Sean has always had a keen interest in volunteering, and in thanks for the help they gave him to furnish his flat, Sean is now volunteering with Skip the tips a furniture charity shop, to help them deliver furniture to others.
In addition to this, Sean has used some birthday money to launch a website to help homeless families - homefulsolutions.com. His ultimate aim is to become a private landlord and help families who cannot pay deposits and are at risk of being split up. He wants to help the plight of homeless families and look at it from a different perspective.
Sean is also writing a book - a sort of handbook for homeless people on the streets. He feels that he has skills that he can share with people to help them get through this.
(Sean has already had poetry published through Amazon)
What might have happened if Motiv8 had not helped?
At the time that Sean came to Motiv8, his life was chaotic and he was in despair. He needed help to find a home and also to find a purpose to his life. It is difficult to speculate what might have happened to him if he hadn’t been referred to Motiv8, but without a doubt, his situation has dramatically improved. He has a home, a purpose through volunteering and a passion to help others who have experienced homelessness. He is very grateful for the support he has received from Motiv8.
What does Motiv8 and the support you got mean to you?
“The best thing about Motiv8 has been the fantastic support provided by my keyworker. He was professional, but also felt like a friend. He referred me to various organisations but still checked in on me on a regular basis. You feel less alone. There have been times when I’ve felt like ending my life, but Kojoe was always a reassuring influence at the end of the phone saying ‘you’ll get through this.’ I feel much more positive about life now.”
Sean’s Keyworker, Kojoe, said:
“Sean was willing to engage with us and make full use of the support from the Motiv8 programme and this enabled him to secure housing and a volunteering position. Sean is ambitious, and this made supporting him a pleasure.”