experiences & testimonials

Next  step  and  me,  so  far .. 

The  Next  step  team  have  been  working  with  me  now  for  eight  months.  In  that  short  time,  they've helped  me  considerably.  I  had  to  move  from  Birmingham  to  live  in  Telford  for  two  months  when  I'd failed  to  find  Uni  accommodation  in  time.  Next  step  worked  with  my  Personal  Advisor  to  provide  the accommodation  and  did  everything  to  make me feel  comfortable  and  help  me  settle  in.  M and D helped  me  move  in to  the  flat.  M  offered  to  give  me  lifts  to  and  from  the  station  when  she could  as I  needed  to  commute  to  Birmingham  for  the  two  months  that  I  was  in  Telford  for  work.  She  also showed  me  around  the  area  so  I'd  know  where  the  local  shops  were.  She  did  a number  of thoughtful little  things,  such  as bringing  over  a  plate  of  roast  dinner  one  night!  I'm  so grateful  for  the  care  and thoughtfulness.  I  realise  that  her  acts  of  kindness  were  not  part  of the  job  description  and  she  really did  not  have  to  go  out  of  her  way  to  do  these  things. 

Annie  was  introduced  to  me  a  couple  weeks  after  I'd  moved  in  and  is  currently  my  support  worker. She worked  with  me  alongside  M and  my  Personal  advisor.  She  helped  me  improve  my  budgeting, really  focused  on  money  management  and  helped  me to  tackle  and  clear  my  overdraft.  When  I  moved back  to  Birmingham  to  complete  my  second year  of  Uni,  A  visited  every  week  or  so to  check  in with  me.  We'd  go  to  the  gallery  or  cinema  or  just  have  lunch.  She  constantly  reminded  me  that  she and  the  Next  step  team  were  there  if and  when  I  needed  them.  Just  after  Christmas,  she delivered  an amazing  gift  basket  that  the  team  had  put  together  for  me.  I  was  overwhelmed.  It was  such  a  lovely gift  and  so  much  thought  had  gone  in  to  it.  I've  even  asked  A  to  be  my  birthing  partner  after finding  out  I  was  pregnant.  She  happily  accepted  and  has  been  supportive  throughout  my  pregnancy as  has M  and  the  team.  They  have  given  so many  of the  items  that  I  needed  and  helped  me  to  shop for  the  rest  as well  as providing  storage  for  the  items. 

I'm  so  grateful  for  the  support  that  Next  step  continues  to  provide  and  I'm  confident  that  my  final  of Uni  and  my  first  year  of  being  a  mother  will go smoothly  with them  by my side. 



Welcome letter

Now I'm turning 18 I'm going to be out of your care soon. It only feels like yesterday when you moved me into Millbank at 16.

You have all done so much for me and I thank you all so much for that. I have to admit that Carmen was the best worker you ever had and then Gemma came along.

It's nice to have a worker that isn't that much older than me. She would understand, listen and give you some guidance on messy situations. Jill is lovely, funny, always caring and she knows how to make you smile when you are upset or ill.

10,000 miles later ... from Hackney to Melbourne.

(Testimonial from one of the earliest young people to come on to our independence training programme.)

My name is Gabriel Parker. I grew up in the orthodox Jewish community in Stamford Hill. With my 2 brothers and 2 sisters, I was brought up in a very strict environment. We were very poor and had to rely on handouts of food and clothing to get by.

Things really began to go pear shaped for me not long after my 13th birthday. Our family was rocked by the effects of abuse and began to tear apart. I began to steal money from my parents and run away. I was doing poorly at school and no longer wanted to be involved with the religion, especially in light of what was going on with the family at the time.

I was with NSCM for nearly two years, starting on a Semi-Independent programme, working towards an Independent programme, 

I never engaged fully during my time with Next Step, I thought I would be supported for ever no matter what I did, believe me I did play up, I coursed damage to my property on more than one occasion, even though Next Step would deduct monies from my allowances, I still thought I could get away with it. I would miss meetings with my worker; I would only attend if it suited me. I did not realise how important the support I was receiving was, until my programme ended in July 2007, Next Step still agreed to help me find accommodation although it was my fault that I had no were to live.

When one lucky lady met Peter Andre her dream came true

I was placed with Next Step as I had had problems at my previous placement.  I was with Next Step for over a year and never had any problems in my key working sessions.  My key worker, K, was always on point with our sessions, and in those sessions I learnt how to put up curtains by myself, learnt how to register water, gas, tv, bills etc.  I accidently broke my door and they nearly had to pay for a new one, instead K brought her tools and we fixed it together.  The shower head also wasn’t working, instead of getting the maintenance people to fix it, me and Karen went to B&Q, got a new one and fixed it ourselves.  She explained that when I moved in alone I’d have to pay for all that to get fixed, so it was better that I learnt how to do it.

K was the best.  I literally told her everything, even when I got in trouble or whatever, and that’s because we created a good relationship even though we did have disagreements.  I had never had my own Christmas tree before and we put one up together.  K made my Christmas feel special. 

Next Step helped me to get myself to be independent and to manage my money.  Karen supported me in everything I needed support with and even when I didn’t feel like going, pushed me and got me up in the morning to make sure I was up and ready to deal with my appointments.

I learnt so much about independent living with Next Step and still keep in touch with K.



Welcome letter

Thought you may like to see this. M and D with Gordon Banks on our stand in Stafford.

Welcome letter

I joined Next Step in February 2007 on a Semi-Independent Programme. Over the twelve months that I worked with Next Step I received encouragement and support from both PT and PC, who had both been my Outreach Workers.

I learnt how to budget my money and received help looking for work and for my own accommodation. In January 2008 I moved into my new home, found with the support from my workers and my placement with Next Step ended very positively.

I would like to thank Next Step and my Outreach workers for their help in achieving my independence and encourage other Young People to engage with the programme and use the support offered by Next Step.

Welcome letter

Testimonial from E

I was with Next Step from the age of 15. J was my keyworker. I went from my residential unit to a Next Step flat in Catford. Julian was a fantastic keyworker who help me through a lot of difficulties I was having in my relationship with my social worker.

I learnt a lot of independence skills from J, including budgeting for my bills, cooking skills and shopping efficiently.

Many years have passed and I'm still in contact with him and all of Next Step, and feel that if I ever have a problem I need help with I can still approach him and Next Step for support.

I am now training to become a PCSO and ultimately to become a Police Officer.

Welcome letter

NSCM – Testimony from Outreach Worker

Since working for NSCM I have found the whole team , my manager, all the office staff and other outreach workers to be very supportive and encouraging.  It is reassuring that whenever I have a question, which initially was every 5 minutes,  the response is almost immediate which helps in what is a challenging but rewarding role.

Whenever I have felt that a situation with a young person is problematic, NSCM have always been able to resolve it and give structured advice.

Having worked for a number of organisations that support vulnerable young people it is refreshing to work for an organisation that has such positive outlook, supports and allows the face to face work to be as meaningful as possible, with good supervision and a framework that keeps record keeping succinct.



Welcome letter

NSCM works with YP/A who have experienced or are experiencing life changing circumstances. The poem below provides a vivid insight into the fear that a young vulnerable care leaver may experience. It was written by a 15 year old girl in care who was about to reach 16 years of age. 

No matter how young people may present themselves, we at NSCM are acutely aware of the steps they have to take towards independence and how frightening it may be for them. 

“I’m lying here in my bed
With thoughts running through my head
I’m nearly 16, ready to go
How I’ll cope I just don’t know.
I really need help to understand
Without messing my head around
How to cook, clean and shop
And also where I’m gonna stop.
Sometime I sit here and say
Things weren’t meant to be this way
I sometimes this isn’t fair
I shouldn’t be in care.
I should be with my family and friends
Where they say love never ends
I see families all happy and sweet
They look full and complete.
If only I could turn back time
Then things as home would be just fine
But that was then and this is now
Me? Survive Out there? I don’t know how,”
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