At the time of joining the GREAT Project, Sharon felt very low and depressed. She was out of work and receiving Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) due to having difficulty with her mobility. Despite the problems she suffered with her arm and shoulder, Sharon’s benefits were cancelled following an assessment, leaving her feeling completely lost.
Sharon came into contact with the GREAT Project when a Leicester based care organisation recommended the project to her, and gave her a leaflet to read through. After reading over the leaflet and seeing all that the GREAT Project has to offer, Sharon decided to contact us.
Sharon met with her Employment Support Officer, Yachna, and outlined all her barriers to work, which included; lack of job skills, lack of transport, lack of access to child care, time pressures at home, and simply not knowing what’s out there. With this information, Yachna devised a support plan specific to Sharon’s needs.
“Meeting with Yachna felt like I was meeting up with a friend, and each week we did something different. She genuinely cared about my well-being and nothing was ever a chore for her.”
Yachna met with Sharon regularly, and recommended she attended work club so she could work on her CV, cover letter and job search skills. Around this time, Sharon also took proactive steps and began to volunteer at her son’s school two – three afternoons a week.
Yachna spoke with Sharon about what she’d like to do next with her career and asked if working in a school would be of interest. Sharon was open and said that she would love to, but wouldn’t know where to begin. With Yachna’s support and encouragement, they found a Teaching Assistant course and the following week, Sharon had an assessment and enrolled.
Speaking of her time on the project, Sharon said:
“It’s well worth the while, honestly. If you’re willing to work at it and communicate, then you won’t look back. I’m not just a mum anymore; it has given me a life and it has given me a purpose. It really is the best thing I ever did.”
Yachna, Sharon’s Employment Support Officer, said:
“Sharon’s come so far from when she joined the project, and I’m so proud of what she’s achieved. She frequently tells me that she’s a lot more confident and a lot happier now, and that’s really good to hear. I’m so glad she feels like she’s becoming more like her old self and has a future to look forward to.”
Sharon is now enrolled on the Teaching Assistant course, and is looking forward to what the future may bring.