Case Studies

Please click the headings below to read more about our clients and services (*please note that some names have been changed for privacy reasons):


Help! For Disabled People - Rob

Rob contacted DRC through our ‘Help! For DisabledPeople’ helpline.

Rob had been having difficulty with attempted thefts to his gas and electricity meter, which was placed on the outside of his property. Both attempts of theft had left the meter damaged and in need of repair. The cost of the repairs meant that Rob, who is solely dependent on welfare benefits due to disability, was struggling financially and had fallen behind on water payments. Rob was also advised by West Midlands’ Police that the best way to prevent any further attempted thefts was to have the meter moved to the inside of his property. Sadly his energy provider would not be able to fund the move so this would come at a cost to Rob. When he phoned DRC, Rob was understandably anxious and scared about the future.

DRC supported Rob to research, make contact with, and submit proposals to some grant giving organisations. As a result, Rob was delighted to receive funding to help with his meter move. Furthermore, he received funding and reductions on his bills to enable him to get his finances back under control. Rob says:

“The assistance DRC provided me with has been fantastic. It had helped me to manage by payments and begin to get my life back on track. I’m now feeling much more positive about the future.”

Information Helpline - Sue

I called DRC’s information helpline when I was at breaking point. I didn’t know where to turn. I have a degenerative condition which affects my vocal chords and impacts ability to speak, so phoning the centre was a big step for me, but I’m so pleased I did it. I spoke to a lovely lady called Natalie, who invited me into the centre.

I opened up to Natalie. I told her how unhappy I was with the sheltered accommodation in which I was living.I didn’t feel supported and felt unease with the staff. As a result of my condition, I am also losing vision in both eyes. When I approached DRC, I was at my lowest; I was terrified about losing my sight, especially when I was already struggling so much with life in general.

Natalie referred me to FOCUS, a local charity that helps people like me who have sight problems. Natalie came with me to my initial meeting with Sue and helped to explain my situation. Since that meeting, Sue has helped me to start coming to terms with my condition and how I can manage it. She’s also helped to build my relationship with my care team and generally boost my morale. I now also attend DRC’s weekly coffee mornings, which I look forward to each week. I’d like to thank Natalie for all the support she has offered me, and for introducing me to Sue.”

Personal and live skills development

Personal Development - Gary

Gary came to us after taking time out of work due to illness. Like many of our clientsand volunteers, it was the local job centre that pointed Gary in our direction.

After receiving employment support from DRC, Gary started to attend several courses we hosted, including an earlier version of the Learn My Way IT course. For Gary, who was already adept at using computers, the classes were more of an opportunity for him to get out of the house and stay proactive. The course administrator at the time, Tina, quickly saw potential in Gary and asked if he would like to volunteer with running the class.

Fortunately for the centre, Gary took to the role incredibly well and he has been helping to run the course for six years and counting. Alongside this he has also helped out with many of the other courses DRC runs, and also helps run reception every Tuesday afternoon. Gary is so committed to DRC and our clients and we are so grateful for all that he does.

When asked about his successes as a volunteer, Gary stated that passing on his skills and knowledge are his proudest achievement.

Money Matters Course - Anne-Louise

“I was referred to DRC by my Mental Health Support Worker, and started going to the regular Job Clubon a Thursday. That was 9 years ago, and since then I have been in regular contact with the centre.  Most recently, I completed the Money Matters course and received a Level 1 qualification in personal budgeting skills and IT skills!

I really enjoyed being part of the group, meeting new people and making new friends. It’s also helped me save money.  When we were learning to budget, I realised how much of my money I was spending on cigarettes. It’s given me the motivation to quit smoking!

As part of the course, we had to complete Portfolio and Tracking Sheets, and I started to help some of the other learners with theirs. I was delighted when DRC asked me to become a volunteer! I now help the IT tutor with the new courses, and come in every Wednesday to help with the admin tasks for the group.

I’m so pleased I signed up for Money Matters.  I have found it very interesting and enjoyable, and have gained a number of new skills and useful information whilst on the course”.

Health and wellbeing

Fit for Life -Claire

Claire joined DRC’s Fit for Life course at Spitfire House in Castle Vale. Before attending the course, she was very anxious and told us that the world felt like it was constantly closing in around her. However, by joining in the workshops, Claire learnt relaxation techniques which helped her to sleep at night, she gained valuable benefits advice to help her financial situation, and she also made new friends when attending the sessions. We are delighted to report that Claire now feels less anxious and more confident about her future.

Fit for Life -Belle

A relatively young woman, Belle was suffering with anxiety and lack of confidence. She came to a community centre where we hold some of our courses just after her mother passed away and heard about Fit for Life. An introvert by nature; the loss of her mother left Belle feeling insecure, vulnerable and with increased anxiety about her future. She was feeling overwhelmed, not knowing how she would cope or deal with life in general.

On the day we met with her, she didn’t feel up to sitting in on a whole session, but she was able to talk with our staff, uninterrupted about her fears and feelings and shed some much needed tears. Belle was given some guidance and up-to-date information regarding services who support people with grief and loss. During the next session she started to join in with gentle breathing exercises and has continued to do this during the next few weeks. She told us that “the gentle breathing has definitely helped me to calm my anxiety attacks.”

Belle says“The Fit for Life sessions are very helpful and before I came here I felt my life was empty. Everything was a struggle and I felt alone. It’s lovely to be with other people who have problems, we’re all different but you don’t feel so alone”.

Social and leisure activities

Weekly Coffee Morning - Linda

Sadly it was a battle with cancer which led Linda to volunteer at DRC, having previously worked in schools and the dry cleaning industry. After having a discussion with her Job Centre Plus advisor upon recovery, they suggested Linda may benefit from accessing our services.

After attending a drop in at her local library, and coming into contact with DRC colleagues, Linda soon became a regular face at our Kitts Green Centre. She challenged herself by attending many of the courses we run, learning new skills and taking herself out of her comfort zone.

Through regular attendance at the centre, staff soon got to know Linda very well, and saw a steady change in the slightly shy but always friendly woman who walked through the door. Looking at the way she would encourage and support those around her, DRC approached Linda and asked if she would like to be a mentor. Taking up the task she excelled in this role, and there are many people today, who will have had first-hand experience of the support Linda has provided.

Alongside mentoring, Linda also took on a role on our reception and running our Wednesday coffee morning. When asked what her plans are going forward, she simply states that she would like to “keep carrying on”, stating that hardship has taught her “that even when I’m feeling down I’ve got to pick myself up, and try my best to pick others up, because that’s what life is about”.

Personal Development - Bernard

“I was diagnosed with bladder cancer 10 years ago and had the tumour removed. I had chemo check-ups every month for 6 months and then once every year for 9 years. I went for my final check in February last year to get the all clear, and was devastated to learn that I had 3 tumours back again. I had the tumours removed in March, and started chemo again. I was at a very low point. I was introduced to the Disability Resource Centre and Paula who told me about the benefits I was entitled to. She also told me about some of the activities they run at the centre, and as a result I joined the art class, which is run by Rose.  Rose made me feel welcome and showed me how to be creative and to use any talent you have. This was the highlight of the week for me, when I was depressed at home alone. Then I started on the IT course; I didn’t know much about computers, but Gary and Paul were brilliant and patient, and I really enjoyed it. Next I completed a level 1 qualification in IT skills. As a result of my growing skills and confidence, I started back at work 3 weeks ago after being out over a year. DRC has introduced me to some wonderful people who helped me through some of the dark days in my life in the last year, and have given me back my confidence to go back to work. Thank you all.”

Employment, training and volunteering

Employment and Training -Sherelle

Sherelle 29, from Birmingham, is a single mum who up until recently lived with her mother, brother and children. Sherelle was referred to DRC’s Journey to Workcourse by her Job Centre Advisor.  Although she was studying part-time for a degree in psychology, she wasn’t working due to pain and mobility issues.  Sherelle was finding it difficult to accept her condition and as a result was struggling a lot with confidence, self-esteem and anxiety.

Fortunately, the Journey to Work course helped Sherelle to understand her rights as an employee and how to manage her condition.  Through the workshops and one-to-one support, Sherelle slowly became more accepting about her condition and more positive about the future.

Sherelle’s ultimate aim was to secure employment and through the course she found out about a Supported Business Placement within DRC. She was successful in her application and was welcomed into the team.

Sherelle and her children have now moved out of her family home and she is learning to manage her pain independently. Her confidence is constantly increasing and she hopes to continue improving her skills. Sherelle says:

“I am so grateful for the support DRC have offered. My skills, confidence and independence have all flourished since discovering this fantastic organisation.”

Employment and Training -Linda

“I am currently attending the Journey to Work course. I’m not only finding the course enjoyable but I’m starting to feel excitement rather than dread about returning to work!  I am 63 years old and until 2016 I had always been employed; unfortunately due to my ill health this changed. The course has given me valuable information and advice on both employment and managing my condition, and has boosted my confidence and self-esteem.

As part of the course, we visited a job fair (the thought of which would have terrified me before!), which allowed me to talk to companies and employers. As a result of my growing confidence, I am now volunteering at my local book hub.

I have a good bond with the other people in the class. As someone who lives on their own, I feel quite isolated at times, so spending time with like-minded people has really helped me.”