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Tegan's story: "I've come such a long way in just a year"

Pluss Positive People Positive People - Devon 28 March 2022
Tegan volunteering in the charity shop

In March 2021, Tegan underwent thyroid surgery. Prior to that she’d been feeling sluggish, she was experiencing depression and anxiety and her heart rate was “all over the place”.

One year on and so much has changed!

“After the operation, I felt like a new person,” she says. “I’d been out of work for a while and I just knew that I wanted to make a change.”

Tegan took to the internet to see what services were available and ended up on the Pluss website.

“I was looking at the programmes on offer and I read one of the features – about a man who’d been out of work for a long period – and his story resonated with me.

“I was like, well if he can do it, so can I!”

Tegan signed up to the Work Routes programme and a few months later decided to approach Pluss’s Positive People too.

“Even though Covid was in full swing, I was impressed that Pluss had adapted and kept going; providing support via phone and internet courses, and I thought, well if I don’t do it now, I’ll just keep on putting it off.

“So I signed up and that was it, it went off in a shot and I’ve not looked back.”

Tegan worked with her coaches Mandy and Nicola: “and they were both fantastic,” she says. “Nicola helped me to enrol on courses like life-coaching which was amazing, and then, from there, it was the Empowering Women course, housing advice, budgeting advice, absolutely everything that I needed.”

Nicola Saunders

It was a pleasure to support Tegan on her journey with Positive People and to watch her confidence, enthusiasm and motivation grow. Tegan’s commitment and engagement in the programme enabled her to be supported to overcome her barriers. I wish Tegan the best of luck in her new voluntary role, as she continues to develop and move towards her goal of gaining paid employment

Nicola Saunders Pluss' Positive People Change Coach

Tegan says she felt that by taking each of the steps at her own pace, everything started to fall in to place.

“Just little things like finding out who was responsible for any repairs in my accommodation. If I look at what I’ve achieved, with the help of Pluss’ Positive People, Devon, I’m in such a better position than I was a year ago.

“Back then I didn’t have a CV sorted out, I didn’t know how to write a cover letter, I didn’t know interview skills, I didn’t have confidence in myself but now I do.

“Even speaking with you now for this interview – online, with my microphone and video switched on – is a big step for me,” she admits.

“Previously I just couldn’t have done it. But thanks to Pluss’ Positive People, I’ve changed! I now have the confidence to do this. And if my story can help another person on their journey then that can only be good!”

Tegan’s year:

  • March 2021 – Thyroid Surgery
  • April 2021 – Enrolled on Pluss’ Work Routes programme
  • October 2021 – Enrolled on Pluss’ Positive People Devon programme
  • January 2022 – Began volunteering at the British Heart Foundation

Tegan is now volunteering at the British Heart Foundation in her hometown of Holsworthy, Devon.

“I saw a sign in their window asking for volunteers and I’d always wanted to do it,” she says, “but I kept on putting it off. You get in that pattern of saying ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’, don’t you?

“But with my renewed confidence, I applied. I had a lovely chat with the manager and started in their shop three days later!

Tegan working in the charity shop“It’s been brilliant for building my confidence, and it also allows me to study courses at the same time. I’m doing an NVQ now.”

So much has happened in Tegan’s year and she’s keen to share her experience with others.

“It feels fantastic. I’m over the moon. This time last year I was coming out of thyroid surgery, and now I’m moving into a stage where I’m ready to start work,” she enthuses.

Tegan’s already referred others to the programme.

So what does she say to anyone finding themselves in a similar situation?

“I was told at the start that you get out what you put in. If you’re open, completely open to change, then Pluss is the way to go.

“I would really recommend the Empowering Women course, and anyone who has the opportunity to do it, I would encourage them to sign up straight away! It’s tailored to every circumstance; it helps you with the tools that you need to build your confidence and move forward.

“I just want to say thank you to the whole team. Mandy and Nicola went above and beyond with heir help for me, even arranging a mock interview to get me ready for the real thing whenever that happens.

“My goal now is to get myself a paid job,” she says.

“I couldn’t have come so far if it weren’t for the team at Pluss.”

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Tegan's Year

March 2021 – Thyroid Surgery

April 2021 – Enrolled on Pluss’ Work Routes programme

October 2021 – Enrolled on Pluss’ Positive People Devon programme

January 2022 – Began volunteering at the British Heart Foundation

March 2022 - Ready to look for a job

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