Christine is a full time carer for her daughter and was awarded three children through the courts under Special Guardianship, two of which have anti-social behaviour issues, so day to day demands were high and she often felt overwhelmed.
She was unaware of kinship carer support and although she was with her husband, she felt isolated. The family pressure, debt and overwhelming feelings resulted in a split from her husband in 2017.
She had also had a recent operation and was recovering from surgery. Christine was involved in a car accident in 2014 and was in poor health with tests being undertaken for memory changes.
Her longer term aim was to get her career back and access training. Christine is dyslexic but felt distance learning would fit in with her carer duties, however she had no computer or printer.
Debts were also an issue affecting her confidence, so a referral to LEAP sustainable energy was completed. She was in arrears with her mortgage and her home was overcrowded.
Christine told us she also has a ‘hang-up’ with her weight and wanted to attend Slimming World but could not afford it. We felt that joining Slimming World would bring some hope and a break from carer duties, so we agreed to fund the cost.
Christine now has support in place to help build her resilience, with access to mindfulness, carer and kinship support. She has also undertaken a course to help with the children’s behaviour and to enhance her skills and coping mechanisms.
A ‘MYTIME’ carer grant was awarded via Wakefield carers. She is also attending Slimming World and her debts are in better control, with the support of specialist partners. She plans to adjust her mortgage into her own name.
Christine was also an advocate for others and attended an evaluation for the Hopeful Families programme. Her home has been checked for energy and she is back on their list for energy grants.
Christine did a two week digital inclusion course and attended a dyslexia awareness event. As a computer can support learning, Hopeful Families were able to provide her with her own laptop, which in turn helped with training opportunities and also to manage her dyslexia.
The programme has access to specialist partners and a referral was made to the Life Coach.This gave Christine hope and showed positive motivation, setting 1-1 goals to help her future progression. The Life Coach helped with a focus on looking at courses and job searching, which considered her caring role and resumed some value to herself.
She was supported with an update on her CV and ‘Better Off In Work Calculation’. In light of the calculation, she approached employers and is actively looking at jobs for five hours a week. It is felt that the lower hours will be beneficial, add therapeutic value and a longer term prospect to increased hours.
Christine is now enrolled on Forensic Psychology – Witness Investigation and Mental Health courses to support her ambition to work in care.
Christine now feels more optimistic. “My stress is lifted and to have a backup person helps with direction”, she says. “l feel fantastic. I now know who to turn to and get good advice. I now believe in myself”.
“The support that I had got me moving to new positive ideas. I’ve never been judged and Hopeful Families picked me up. I can’t thank you enough. I appreciate all the help. It has really changed my life, as it is much easier and less of a worry on a day-to-day basis”.