Darren was a single dad looking after his three boys and had his own successful business in the building trade.
Life was always full of ups and downs but after losing his mum in 2014, his life really took a turn for the worse and started spiralling out of control.
He started getting into drugs and crime and lost everything he had. He served time in prison, but it was a conversation he had with one of the prison officers which started to help him turn his life around.
Upon his release from prison, he agreed to move to Hexham and start his rehabilitation at Betel. After 16 months, Darren felt much better and stronger and decided he wanted to start a new life in Northumberland and had a big passion to help others in addiction.
He moved into a Karbon Homes property in Prudhoe and his housing officer made a referral to Karbon’s Foundations for Life team to help him find employment. He sat with his Employment Advisor, Brendan McCreesh, to discuss his route into employment. They talked about his strengths and prepared him for job interviews.
Darren was passionate about helping other people. He wanted to help people that are in the position he was in and Brendan told him about a job opportunity at the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear (CNTW) NHS Foundation Trust, working as a Peer Support Worker. The CNTW is a leading provider of mental health and disability services across the North of England. Brendan supported him with his application and intensive job interview preparation. He went for the interview and was accepted.
He started his role at Northumberland Recovery Partnership in Blyth during the current Covid-19 pandemic and is delighted to be able to help people in addiction.
He said: “I am forever grateful to Brendan who helped me to find employment. I am so excited for the future of my career and journey to support people, helping them get free from addiction.
“Brendan was always on hand to support and listen and I wouldn’t have my job if it wasn’t for him. I hope my story encourages and inspires others in addiction and their families that it is possible to break free from addiction. I live a life now with a peace that I never had before.”
Brendan, who is part of the North of Tyne Working Homes project, said: “I am really happy to see Darren achieve his aspirations and secure employment. It shows that regardless of your situation, you can turn your life around for the better”.
“Our employment foundations advisors will work with customers to help them develop their employability skills, whether they are looking to get into work, progress their career or develop new skills.”
Chrissy Kurek, Community Clinical Manager at CNTW NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Darren has immediately fitted into the team. He’s already very well established as part of the team. He is motivated and dedicated to our client group and he is an inspiration to both staff and service users already.”