As a single parent with two children, Emma had started to feel isolated in her own community. There were a number of barriers that she felt were limiting her from finding work: looking after her family, lack of experience, not knowing how to search for jobs and, most importantly, a lack of confidence.
“My self-confidence was that low, I didn’t want to leave the house, I didn’t want to do anything with my time, and when they started me on the GREAT Project it was a point of “’This will do you some good’”
Emma was referred to the GREAT Project by her family support worker. Her original goal was to exit the project into job searching, so that she could secure work in the future. She accessed a range of support services, including Work Clubs and a behind-the-scenes tour at M&S, but possibly the most significant support that Emma accessed was the Total Commitment Training (TCT).
TCT is a three-day programme which helps to build resilience, reflection and relationships. Through various activities and a final activity, participants build self-confidence, improve their focus and develop positive thinking techniques. Emma was originally very anxious about joining in the group activities but she threw herself into the training and ended up enjoying it a lot more than she thought!
“All my shyness is completely gone… I need that confidence to raise my children, I need confidence to be able to go out of the house, school meetings, other meetings… the confidence part goes through all your whole life”
As well as building her skills and confidence, Emma made a lot of friends through the project. One of her friends was registered disabled and supported by a personal assistant from a care company. The PA was leaving the company, so Emma applied for the vacancy. She interviewed successfully and was thrilled to be appointed as the PA for her friend.
Emma’s confidence has soared, and she’s now looking towards the next stage in her career. She was also elected the Liberal Democrat councillor for her area, so she can put her new-found confidence into improving not only her own life and that of her family, but also the lives of those in her local area.
“[I]really enjoyed doing the project. And the experience was amazing. If I could do it again I would.”