“I’d like to be an artist” – Mandy’s story

Mandy was referred to Hopeful Families to help her manage the barriers she faced due to stress and depression.

Mandy received counselling, help with transport costs to enable her to attend a college course and financial assistance towards art supplies, supported through the Hopeful Families programme – National Lottery Community Fund and European Social Fund funded.

Mandy said that the bus pass enabled her to go to college to study, which has had a massive impact on her life. She attended a one day self-employment course and obtained a work-space where she could paint. She was also able to obtain some specialist paint to treat the space, as it had been previously inhabited by a chain smoker.

Mandy also received information and leaflets about activities going on in the local area, which she appreciated.

“I have suffered with mental illness since 2017 at work due to bullying. The counselling has helped me a lot”.

“My employer provided counselling in 2017 but this stopped when I was made redundant. Being made redundant and my father dying meant that I started to struggle again, and it was the right time to have counselling to help me to get through that. Counselling has helped me to get things in perspective; to come to terms with my situation and to realise that it is normal to feel the way that I did”.

Mandy wanted help to set up a social media profile on Instagram and a blog as it is really important to have a presence as a self-employed artist. She finds it hard to absorb information as her memory hinders the transfer of knowledge and putting what she has learnt into practice.

“I want to be an artist. I am going to continue with my education and do a degree at University to be able to follow my passion, utilise it and become a self-employed artist.

“My career change requires a different mindset from my background, and a different environment and different people. I have not made it yet, but I am getting there.

“The Hopeful Families project and the Family Mentor have been brilliant”.