When Matthew first signed up for Breakthrough’s Community Connecting service, he was anxious and scared.

Within just a few weeks of meeting Breakthrough Connector Tracey, Matthew has taken his first ever tram journey and is independently taking his mum to visit the Manchester Science and Industry Museum.

Matthew currently lives with his parents in Gorton, but become quite reliant on family for support.

With his life revolving around playing computer games inside, he was becoming unhappy.

He said, “I wanted to get of the house and to do more stuff.”

Meeting Tracey for the first time was daunting. Working together, Tracey found out that travel was a barrier.

Travel training is an important part of Community Connecting, and Tracey and Matthew took tram rides to different places in Manchester City Centre as practice.

First stop was a visit to the Printworks to see a venue for a social group, followed by a visit to Central Library.

Image shows conncter Tracy head and shoulders to the left and client Matthew head and shoulders on the right

Image: Community Connector Tracey with Matthew.

The experience made Matthew feel “much more confident.” His mum added, “He is now standing up for himself.”

The experience has been so positive he has now signed up to attend Breakthrough’s Independent Living Pathways course, and an exercise class. He is looking forward to making plans.

Matthew added, “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be doing all this.”