Tony was referred to The Hope Foundation by Step Forward Tees Valley to work towards Functional Skills Maths Level 2.

He says, “I wanted to improve my skills and confidence to get back to working life! I had a full career and had worked all of my life – personal circumstances changed and I found life spiralling out of my control. Times were hard and often I had thought ‘what’s the point and felt worthless. I started learning whilst still experiencing personal difficulties. Then came COVID which really scuppered my plans.”

On the first day “I was really nervous and anxious – I spoke to Kim (careers adviser), before coming to the Hope Foundation, over the phone. Kim explained what to expect and what would happen at induction. All of the staff made me feel welcome – I have found the staff both kind and respectful and ready to listen and offer support. The Hope Foundation asked what help and support I needed and we agreed discussion with my tutor and to have breaks when I felt overwhelmed.

I only had a mobile phone so couldn’t access remote learning during the covid lockdowns. The Digital Library supported with a device and technical support; something that I could not afford and gave me a lifeline to learn and access services online. This was a great help as I could still access learning and other support services.
I had been told from my navigator that they The Hope Foundation had small classes and remote learning options but there is so much more to the place!

I am a different person to the man that stepped through the door on my first day! I looked forward to my classes and attending. Attending and learning at Hope gave me confidence to move forward.

I have achieved confidence and skills to move forward and now volunteer in a reception and caretaker role in a community venue.”