The ROAD Team are proud of the work we are continually doing to help our Participants to overcome a variety of barriers in their lives. Here, you can read about some of our many successes to date.

Paul's Musical Journey to Positivity

Date: January 28, 2021

“When I was young, I used to do martial arts (taekwondo), I used to be fit and healthy, happy all the time, boisterous. Then I lost contact with my son in 2001 and I started feeling depressed. I fell out with people that I have known for a long time. I ended up being by myself. A very close friend of mine passed away 5 years ago and I felt devastated.

I decided to start studying music and I went to college for that. During my time at college, I did a lot of research about music. Music is like a therapy for me and It reminds me about good time I had in the past. I met a guy that encouraged me to get into production.

This year I felt very worried about my parents for the Covid-19 situation. I was stressed out a lot for different situations. I was feeling very low before engaging with ROAD.

The FED specialist at ROAD helped me to sort out my debts and apply for PIP. My health Trainer at Jack Drum Arts gave me breathing exercises to help me to fall asleep, and improve my sleeping pattern and routine. Chair-based exercises, showed me how to have a daily planner. I reduced my sugar intake in everyday drinks like tea and coffee.

I attended the Confidence/emotional resilience sessions, which helped me to feel more confident in what I can do. This was also helped by a friend in the music industry. He is now surrounded by very encouraging people.

In general, finding helpful having someone to speak to and feeling supported. I know that there are people out there that can help me.”

Paul’s confidence has massively improved. He has entered a music competition making his own track.

He has improved his lifestyle and worked on his feelings and emotions. He has learnt some relaxation and breathing exercises that are helping him to relax and keep focused.

He was helped to apply for PIP and sort out his financial situation (bills and debts).

“I want to continue improving my musical skills through training, watching tutorials and networking with other people in the music arena.

In the future I would like to decorate my house. I am feeling more motivated to do this.

I want to keep pushing myself to do better every day. When you are low or depressed you forget about doing the small things that can really help you. One or two things a day add up and you can eventually turn your life around.

In the last 5 years I turned my life around and it is important for people to know that everyone can do it!”


Back On Track & Better Off

Date: November 12, 2020

Alison, who was one of our Financial, Employability and Digital Coaches at Citizens Advice County Durham helped this amazing Participant move forward and make positive changes in their life.

“I have helped this participant in several ways and she now feels a lot better off and much more stable and really appreciates all ROAD have supported her with. I have helped her to budget and manage her money as well as open a bank account for herself. Previously her money was going into someone else’s bank account which caused all kinds of problems. We did this on line then she took identification documents to her local branch. Now she pays her own bills and has financial independence and is loving using a contactless card for the first time! I supported her digitally by helping her access her on line journal and helped to update the bank account details to her new account. While she was getting on track with her finances I made several food bank referrals to a local foodbank which were much appreciated. I also helped her claim discretionary housing payment which has been granted for the next 12 months during which time she is hoping to move to a smaller home which costs less to rent. She is now registered with the housing association and able to bid for properties.”

Alison FED Coach at Citizens Advice County Durham 

Participant & Navigator Share Diagnosis

Date: October 30, 2020

This is story about how one person came to ROAD and asked for help.

He left the police force in Hampshire after being severely attacked whilst on duty. He was left with PTSD, anxiety and extreme depression, as a result of this attack. This was devastating for him. This Participant was later diagnosed with MS, which left him feeling even worse mentally, and on occasion, suicidal. He was desperate to work again, but his confidence were at an all time low, and with the MS diagnosis he was unsure as to what kind of work he could actually do. This amazing Participant met ROAD’s Navigator Sarah. Sarah helped him with his C.V, assisted him in applying for different job roles, gave him ideas about different social activities and volunteering opportunities.

Sarah herself has a diagnosis of MS so she could understand with great empathy how this Participant was feeling, this was a great support to him. This Participant’s confidence grew and is a level where he can think about work, and feel like he is useful is society again.

“Just before working with ROAD I was completely lost and felt I had no purpose and no idea how to achieve anything. I was stuck in a rut but because of your help and kindness I now know how to lift myself out of it.”


Here is our Navigator Sarah, talking about how she copes.

Iain Sings Away Depression

Date: October 27, 2020

Iain worked with his ROAD’s Navigator Alison, and Martina our health trainer from Jack Drum Arts.

“I worked for years in the army but I had to stop. I was feeling kind of lost when I was referred to ROAD When I started ROAD I had nothing, I was still living with my ex and then we split up. I had to rebuild everything again. I wanted to stay in the North East to be here for my son. I found out about a course on level 3 Close Protection and level 3 First person on scene course. This will also help me to get level 3 management and level 3 customer service. My attendance to course was all thanks to ROAD. I could attend thanks to a bus pass, boots, top up for my phone, and also a waterproof jacket. If it was not for the facilitation of ROAD I would not have been able to attend.

On health and wellbeing side, lockdown was tough for me. I had just moved into my flat and I was on my own. The calls I got throughout the week massively helped. Doing the yoga helped me. I had sort of given up being fit. Using yoga for recovery and doing it with my Health Trainer made it easier. Also breathing exercises were helpful: instead of just losing my temper, I take a step back and I take a breath. I liked the Friday groups because I was feeling I was helping others.”

Iain has his own YouTube channel – check out Singing Away Depression with Iain

Chris' Participant Stacks up the Qualifications

Date: October 5, 2020

Read below how this person changed their life. This particular Participant worked with his Navigator Chris from Humankind Charity, who are one of ROAD’s partners.

“When I first started this program I had not long had a diagnosis which meant I would be disabled for the rest of my life, I had not long moved to the area and had a issue with the DWP which meant I had to go to a tribunal to reclaim my disability benefits. At the time I was very unmotivated and simply had no idea what I was going to do for my future as my diagnosis meant I also lost my previous job. I discovered the ROAD program thanks to the wonderful people at West Cornforth house and even though I had a tough time believing that there was any future for me, I signed up to the program and did a SIA door security course.

It was very hard for me at first as I also had issue with keeping time and depression did not help with that but the whole team and my partner and the teachers kept me motivated and passed. From that point it gave me so much motivation to learn and take the opportunity for self improvement, I took on many more courses such as the SIA, CCTV, First Aid, English, maths, and many more, even taking the advice of my navigator Chris, to look up other courses online to get many more qualifications. I now have both my SIA licences and all the qualifications and more needed to be successful in the work place even with my disability. My time with the ROAD program has changed my life, I felt there was no future for me and this has given me a completely new outlook on life and given me a opportunity to have a better future and I have met some great people along the way. I am forever thankful to the teams and my navigator who kept in touch via online meetings during the COVID-19 outbreak to make sure I am ok and kept me on track.”

Adrian's Healthy Lifestyle has given him Confidence

Date: September 15, 2020

Here is some amazing feedback from Adrian, a participant who came to us in June this year. Adrian worked with ROAD’s Navigator Alison initially to identify what his needs were, before being referred to our partners at Pioneering Care Partnership – PCP. Adrian worked with Hannah and Nicky from PCP. With Hannah, Adrian worked on improving his diet and stopping smoking. Together they found him a stop smoking advisor who devised a tailored support package for him, this support package included 1:1 weekly support. Adrian also worked on his diet, including ‘simple swamps’ and how to ‘eat well for less’.  Adrian soon made improvements to his diet and started to feel healthier all round, and learned how to “eat well for less.”

Adrian worked with Nicky to apply for jobs and improve his CV, and all round confidence to move forward in a positive way. If you would like to improve your way of living just like Adrian – get in touch today.

COVID-19 (Corona Virus) Update

Date: December 3, 2020

COVID-19 (Corona Virus) UPDATE


ROAD has made the decision to temporarily suspend all face-to-face meetings with our Participants and stakeholders until further notice. We will be making contact with all of our Participants via other methods and will continue to remain in contact and offer support via these channels.

Please follow our social media platforms for updates.

You can contact us via our Facebook Page, email [email protected], call 01207 524 833 or text 07860 853 945

The Government Strategy is to delay transmission across communities and keep people safe. On 16th March 2020, The Prime Minster outlined measures to be implemented, including:

The general population is advised to:

  • stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel;
  • avoid social gatherings (big or small) and
  • avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues.


Vulnerable Groups are determined to be:

  • People over 70 years old:
  • People with serious chronic conditions; and
  • Pregnant women.


Government advice for people in the above categories is to shield themselves from non-essential contact for a period of 12 weeks.


Stay up to date

Keep up to date with the latest public information and advice regarding the virus at


This situation is evolving and ROAD staff are monitoring it closely and will provide regular updates.  We urge people to think through the practicalities of their own circumstances and take necessary steps to safeguard themselves and others.

Glenn branches out with volunteering opportunity

Date: December 3, 2019

Glenn, who is profoundly deaf, wanted to improve his quality of life, and add structure to his week.

After a joint-meeting with his mother, who helped communicate via sign language, Glenn’s ROAD Navigator discovered he has a love for the outdoors and even had his own allotment.

ROAD sourced Glenn a place on Durham Wildlife Trust’s Naturally Social programme, which supports mental and physical well-being through engagement with nature.

The programme was even able to purchase wellies and a waterproof jacket, allowing Glenn to get started the very next day.

Many months later, Glenn continues to be a vital part of the heathland maintenance team at Durham Wildlife Trust!

Helen takes over class thanks to ROAD

Date: December 3, 2019

Helen was unemployed for more than two years before receiving support from ROAD.

Navigators and trainers from across the programme worked with her to improve her confidence and self-esteem through one-to-one support, as well as specialist courses.

To help Helen move closer to her ambition of working in the health and fitness sector, ROAD found a volunteering opportunity with an organisation running healthy eating courses. After attending for a few weeks, she joined the team and began planning and delivering her own sessions!

This proved to her she had the ability to lead a class, and gave her the confidence to complete a fitness instructor qualification, meaning she is now ready to enter an industry for which she has a passion.

ROAD is a winner for gamer

Date: December 2, 2019

Thomas was a ‘video game addict’ and very rarely left the house. It left him feeling lonely and isolated, despite the fact he had many only friends. So much so, that he reached a point where he didn’t even enjoy playing his games anymore.

His lack of any workplace experience or qualifications meant Thomas didn’t have the confidence to pursue work out of fear of rejection

Thomas worked with ROAD Navigator Kerry to develop a plan to help integrate him more into his community and move him towards his ambition of becoming a chef through volunteering at a community allotment group and community kitchen, as well as supporting him to gain hygiene and health & safety qualifications.

Thanks to ROAD’s support Thomas has recently started a full time role in the kitchen of a care home and continues to be a valuable member of society through his volunteer work at the allotment and community centre.