In the space of one year, Bridges Project client Courtney has gone from being homeless to playing a key role in fighting Covid-19.
The 22-year-old has recently secured a role as a Call Consultant with the Blood and Transplant Team with the NHS. In this role, she screens recovered Covid-19 victims and asks them to donate plasma that can help other Covid-19 victims.
Courtney’s current situation seemed almost unthinkable only a year ago. In October 2019, she was sofa surfing as she did not have her own accommodation. The 22-year-old was therefore referred to Bridges Project to receive help to move into temporary accommodation.
Moving into temporary accommodation was the start of a year full of challenges for Courtney. Just before lockdown, she had to move back in with a family member as her temporary accommodation was not suitable for her. This was a difficult time for the Bridges Project client.
“I had no personal space and was living in cramped conditions. It was incredibly stressful and made me anxious about my living situation,” Courtney recalls.
Luckily, this situation did not last for too long. During lockdown, the 22-year-old was supported by Bridges Project’s Independent Living Support Worker, Neil Maclean, to move into her own temporary accommodation. Neil also helped Courtney to apply for emergency funds and receive advice about managing her tenancy.
Once Courtney had settled into her own tenancy, she was ready to take the next step in her independent living journey and she soon started receiving help from Neil to look for employment. It did not take long before the support produced a result as she after just a few months secured her full-time post with the NHS.
Courtney now works from home and after initially struggling with the Call Consultant post, she is now thriving and truly enjoying her role:
“I am very proud to be assisting in the many efforts to tackle Covid-19. I enjoy learning the personal stories of people and being there to listen to people who have been affected by Covid-19. It has also massively improved my mental health,” says the 22-year-old.
Neil, who has supported Courtney since he took over the Independent Living Support Worker role from Candace Higgins in April, is extremely impressed by Courtney’s achievements during the pandemic.
“To see someone overcome so many obstacles in one of the most trying times in our lifetime has been incredible to witness. Courtney is a humble and kind young person who has an understated perseverance and it has been an honour to see her flourish,” says the Independent Living Support Worker.
Courtney says she is very grateful for the support she has received from Neil and Bridges Project.
“I would have been in a terrible – potentially life threatening – place if it wasn’t for Bridges Project. I wish more people could be made aware of the support that Bridges Project provides,” she says.
The new NHS recruit is now looking to achieve more of her life goals.
“I want to buy my own house and see more of the world,” Courtney says.
At the pace the 22-year-old has been progressing until now, she will probably achieve this in no time!