Shining brightly – Nicol’s amazing story

When Nicol was referred from Kirklees Community Plus, she was identified as unemployed and struggling to deal with her mental health, particularly her anxiety. Nicol was finding it hard to leave the house and travel on the bus. Nicol is a single mum to two lovely little girls and was overwhelmed, thinking she wasn’t a good enough parent.

When Nicol came along for an initial assessment it became apparent, pretty quickly, that Nicol needed to believe in herself more. To feel more confident in her abilities and support to find her direction in life.

Nicol has never been in employment and left education when she was 17 years old. She has struggled with her mental health over the years, living with bouts of depression, anxiety and self-harm. She has suffered loss in her life and has had difficult relationships with members of family over the years. She was at a stage where she felt everything around her was negative.

Nicol shared that now she is a mum herself she wanted to set an example to her children, to show them that even when times get hard you can work through the difficult times and pursue your dreams.

Nicol’s aspiration is to feel happy, to manage her mental health and to find employment, something she enjoys and can progress in. To do this, Nicol felt she needed to access training to develop her skills and enhance her chances.

I felt that before Nicol went straight into education she needed to start to work on herself. Nicol initially engaged on an Employability Course at Global Diversity. This was mainly because it was the only course starting straight away and Nicol needed to get started quickly, while in the right mindset. She attended twice a week for six weeks. The course gave her routine, confidence and she made friendships.

Nicol then signed up onto the STEPS Confidence course. This in itself was a challenge for her; walking into a room with strangers and talking about her feelings. Having the creche facility on site was a bonus.

Nicol was liberated by what she learned; her mindset, her outlook on life and her thought process slowly started to change. This was the start of Nicol’s journey; she became more confident, her resilience improved and her motivation went through the roof! Nicol was also referred to our Life Coach where she had 1:1 sessions to address her anxiety. She took part in meditation, hypnosis and was given goals to achieve, such as joining the gym and taking her girls out more.

Nicol then went on to access a Health and Social Care Level 1 course. She completed the course and was awarded an accredited certificate, her first certificate, which she was really pleased about!

She also took part in a Healthy Living Workshop and ‘Come Dine With Me’ nutrition course.

Nicol applied to Volunteer in her daughter’s school as a Teaching Assistant and she also applied for a job working for Kirklees as a Chaperone on school buses. Nicol was successful in securing both roles. She started her Volunteer role in May and is waiting to hear about a start date for her chaperone role.

There have been some hurdles along the way, where we’ve supported her in terms of signposting for professional support with her mental health and her DBS check, but overall Nicol has had an amazing journey on Hopeful Families so far. She has just started another Level 2 course Supporting Children with SEN (Special Educational Needs) in School, and is committed and dedicated to succeed. This is now where she would like to see her career go; working in schools.

Nicol has so many strengths, she has taken every opportunity offered to her and made it work each time. She does her upmost to achieve. She is bright, fun, caring and lucky enough to have good friendship groups, and people who care about her. Nicol is such a likeable young lady and now that she has been given the opportunity to shine, she is shining brightly!