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Working through the barriers - Rita’s story

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Rita (not her real name) is aged 49 and lives in the Wakefield area. Rita had suffered from domestic abuse while in a difficult relationship. Towards the end of last year Rita found herself unemployed and homeless.

“I was sofa surfing and I wanted to find work. I had back pain from a previous injury which made things more challenging. I had no home, household belongings nor any savings for a deposit to rent somewhere. I found these barriers really difficult to overcome.”

Rita’s local job centre referred her to Hopeful Families. A mentor was matched with her who went through Rita’s circumstances, to understand what the barriers were that was preventing her from making positive changes in her life.

Hopeful Families made arrangements for Rita to be given a laptop. This enabled Rita to search and apply for jobs, which was so much easier than using her phone.

“I needed more employability support. Getting the laptop was key for me and helped with a more consistent approach staying in touch and applying for more jobs. I felt much less isolated.”

Rita also had some debts that had built up over time.  Hopeful Families in Wakefield referred Rita to the local Money Smart service to get her finances back on track.

Overall, Rita received help in the following areas:

  • Advise on housing - rights and support available
  • Explore available funding that Rita was eligible for
  • Support around life after suffering domestic abuse
  • Available training on areas of interest
  • Referral to Money Smart for money management advice
  • Support with an income and expenditure document to aid grant applications
  • Support with CV and job search advice
  • Directed to see a private GP for a physio referral for back pain via an insurance claim
  • Booked a medication review with GP
  • Request and supply a laptop

Due to Rita’s perseverance and the support from Hopeful Families Rita has now found employment and her wellbeing has improved tremendously.

“Getting a laptop and being digitally independent resulted in finding work. I would not have gained work if I didn’t have access to a computer. I was struggling to apply for work on my mobile phone, but the family mentor identified the need and made an application. Honestly, that changed everything. Once I got it, my life flipped. I had been depressed, I felt I had nothing, but now I have everything to live for. I felt less isolated.

“I now live in a rented cottage, which I’m sharing with my new partner. Since starting work and meeting someone  new and getting a new home, my wellbeing is much better. I feel motivated and happy. I really appreciate the help from Hopeful Families.”

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