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So positive about the future - K's Story

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K joined the Work and Health Programme in February 2019. She is now self-employed with her own beauty salon.

K's challenges were both her physical and mental health, her daughter's health, accommodation, being a single parent with no local family and lack of knowledge of English.

At the time of joining the programme, K was in constant pain from her hip and had had an operation, although instead of it solving the problem, it had made it worse. Also, she was living in a bed and breakfast in one room with her children, with no local family support. K also said that she felt that her lack of English was a big barrier.

K has completely changed from when her Change Coach first met her. She was very withdrawn and not sure if there was a way to move forward. However, seeing her in her salon, her Change Coach said she looked like a completely different person, very happy and confident about the future.

When K joined the programme we discussed self-employment as it looked like the best option for her, as she would be able to self-manage her health and childcare. With the skills that K had it would be a perfect way forward. At the time of joining the programme however, K was not in the right frame of mind.

K was signposted to several organisations, including Family Action for help with her housing and health. She was also given the contacts for the local council housing department and we explained that she needed to let them know it was having a detrimental effect on her mental health. In addition, K was also given contacts for The Learning Place for ESOL (which she had the assessment for, but the course clashed with school finish times) and was also booked in for appointments with a Health Trainer and the National Careers Service. Talking Change was also proposed, but she was not sure how to self-refer, so asked for help to do this.

K had several appointments and sessions with the Health Trainer and has been having ongoing interactions with Talking Change. Although K was booked into a lot of sessions for help, there were quite a few that she had to cancel. But throughout, K's Change Coach always assured her that she was there for support and that she fully understood her situation.

K moved into her new flat in the middle of April 2019, which really made a difference to how she was feeling, as she could now see a way forward and could start looking at self-employment.

K registered as self-employed in May 2019 and now has a beauty salon called Glow Beauty Brow Bar. She is now working approximately 30 hours per week and is feeling so positive about the future.

K will still need help and advice with some things to do with the business, but is now confident enough to contact her Change Coach when she needs help.

The Work and Health Programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund.

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