Changing Lives…Meet Elvis

The Hopeful Families programme based in West Yorkshire aims to work with families, with a specific focus on people most at risk of social exclusion, who are out of education, or who are affected by unemployment, anti-social behaviour and abuse.

Elvis, 17, was seeking support to help him get back into employment. Elvis’ home life had become particularly strained due to several personal conflicts and he was at risk of having to leave the family home.  Day to day life was chaotic, with some sofa surfing and use of substances. All positive communication channels had been lost within the family. This resulted in an increasingly negative relationship between Elvis and his Mum, and it was clear Elvis’s concentration and trust in others was becoming an issue for him.

Elvis began to meet with Hopeful Families regularly. After several missed appointments, Elvis quickly became very motivated and began to build trust with his mentor. Elvis’ lack of direction or of any clear goals about what he wanted from life required Information, Advice and Guidance interventions to support him to make informed choices on the kind of future he wanted to secure.

We soon discovered that Elvis enjoyed practical work and his goal was to find new work and training opportunities. Hopeful Families supported Elvis with employment skills such as CV writing and increasing his level one in Maths and English, which formed part of his 12-week Princes Trust Programme. Elvis’ strength of character, motivation and purpose began to shine through as he overcame his negative coping mechanisms which had previously included theft and substance misuse. Elvis is now able to express his views, and has had time to manage his emotions. He has found the experience both positive and uplifting, contributing to an ultimate sense of wellbeing.

Home life is now much less stressful. Elvis and his Mum are rebuilding their relationship. Elvis is now on a work placement, and he is being recognised for his strong work ethic and positive can-do attitude. Early indications suggest that the company may offer him a paid position, which would be a fantastic achievement for Elvis. Hopeful Families have liaised with the Princes Trust to put in place a fall-back option should Elvis not be offered the job – this being an apprenticeship at Interserve.

‘People now talk about me in a positive way – it’s like I am listening to someone talk about another person now. I have only heard negatives and complaints before. This programme has changed my life, keep it going, it has helped me loads having someone who believed in me’. Elvis.

Hopeful Families is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.