“I’ve had so much support” – Helga’s story

Helga has three sons. She helps support her mum who is 91 and her son, who lives in sheltered accommodation. Helga says, “The Jobcentre referred me to Hopeful Families due to my anxiety. The Family Mentor advised me to go to the doctors. I was prescribed some medication which helps me to focus and manage my anxiety. I am not thinking about things.

“The medication and coming on the Hopeful Families has really helped, I did not know how ill I was. I kept putting on a front, I was at the end of my tether. I was so overwhelmed with my anxiety. I have had counselling before from the NHS, but I needed practical support as well. Going to the doctors and getting medication, and the help and support of Hopeful Families together has been like therapy.”

Helga stated that the barriers included feeling stuck, and not knowing where to start. Helga said that “I didn’t realise how bad I was. I was in denial. The Family Mentor and the Hopeful Families Project has helped me to declutter my brain. I felt overwhelmed by all the things that needed doing and did not know where to start. The Family Mentor helped me to learn to slow down and take things step by step.

“Since seeing the Family Mentor and the help from Hopeful Families, I am more able to express my needs and feelings. I am putting things behind me and letting go of the past. I am more focussed and not letting things get to me the same. I can handle it. Now I am in control. I am still on a journey, it is still slow but now I feel normal. If things go wrong, I do not really panic, I know I’ll deal with it. I am not crying as much.

“The Family Mentor helped me by tackling things together. She helped me to do my CV, apply for jobs, and helped me financially with bills, benefits and other things. I have also been on courses that have helped. These covered health and wellbeing, arts and craft, health and safety – all funded by the Hopeful Families Community Lottery Fund. I now have a job that the Hopeful Families Mentor helped me to get. The job is 10 hours a week. The people are nice, and I am left on my own, there is no one telling me what to do. I love it. Now I do not need to come to the Jobcentre and look for jobs which helps my anxiety. Before, I did not know what I wanted to do.

“I am now a volunteer on the Hopeful Families Project and am about to start a volunteering certificate at Halifax Opportunities Trust. I also go to church and help with activities and volunteer at the local charity shop where I live.

Being on Hopeful Families has been the best thing ever, I have had so much help and support. Before, I was not getting any support. I am so grateful and thankful for Hopeful Families, the Family Mentor and the staff at Halifax Opportunities Trust. I am moving forward slowly, and want to focus on my health and wellbeing and carry on with my lovely job. I am happy where I am at the moment and do a good job at work. I would like to travel a bit more.

“I did not get support with my son, if I had known about Hopeful Families I would have been able to get some support. This programme has been step by step, if I had known about it before it would have helped me get through a lot of things. The Family Mentor gives me more than a hundred percent. I can’t thank and compliment the Family Mentor and the other staff on Hopeful Families Project enough. I’d like to tell others about it. It is a wonderful and caring project.”