Bismark's Story

I was referred to the Camden Adult Pathway by the Camden and Islington Foundation Trust, after a long stay in hospital due to ill health. The Pathway referred me to Conway House and I moved into the service in December 2016.

My Key Worker, Sharon, spoke to Gosia- the Employment, Training and Education Co-Ordinator at the Training Resource Centre (TRC) who introduced me to Groundswell. Before you can start a course with Groundswell you have to meet with one of their volunteers for an interview to assess whether you are ready. The course lasts for seven weeks and involves three weekly trips to their offices in Vauxhall, therefore they want to know you are ready to commit. I started the Homeless Health Peer Advocacy course with Groundswell in February 2017 and I enjoyed every second of it, it has really helped me regain my confidence and enthusiasm.

During this time I also undertook an Emergency First Aid at work, level two Qualsafe award which is great for my CV and again boosted my confidence a lot. I graduated from Groundswell in April this year and I haven’t looked back since. I had to leave my previous employment because of my illness but doing both the Groundswell and first aid courses motivated me to contact my former employers to ask if they had any opportunities open for me.

I am now back working full time for Kingdom Security, which I am very happy about. I am a security concierge for a block of flats, owned by Brent Housing Partnership, where I manage the front desk, oversee health and safety and control the ingress and egress of the building. Because I am doing so well, the Conway House team felt I was ready to move on to somewhere for residents who require less support needs. I am now living at Hackett House, which has very recently been changed to general needs temporary accommodation. Hackett House is perfect for me as I have more independence than at Conway House but it is still shared accommodation, which means the transition from large hostel to complete independent living is more gradual and has given me time to adjust.

My plans for the future are simple really, I want to keep working and carry on studying so I can become a building manager one day. I want to ensure I am financially secure and independent so I can look after my children. I have a 13 year old son who gas recently been accepted into the Norwich football team academy, a daughter who is studying engineering and an older son who is a computer scientist. I am very proud of all my children and want to do all I can to help them achieve their goals. I am hoping to move on from Hackett House soon and have started to apply for some social housing flats, which will enable me to have my own independence and spend time with my children properly.