Out of debt and training in beauty – Zoe’s Story

Zoe is a single mum to her young son and came to Hopeful Families with the main barriers of mental health and financial issues, and was keen to do some training.

Zoe was struggling with debts and had rent arrears of which she had no way of clearing. A referral was made to Cash Wise who looked at her finances and referred onto StepChange – they advised a debt relief order was the best way to remove this financial barrier.

Zoe worked with Cash Wise and StepChange, and provided all the information needed. Hopeful Families paid the final fee to move this forward and Zoe’s debts were fully cleared within nine months of starting on Hopeful Families.

Another barrier that Zoe disclosed was her mental health and that she was struggling with anxiety. On discussion about the different mental health support services in the area, a referral to GASPED counselling services was made. GASPED are a specialist partner who supply 1:1 counselling to Hopeful Families participants. Zoe attended 12 sessions and this improved her mental wellbeing, and gave her strategies to manage her depression.

Zoe was attending Slimming World as a way to manage her weight and health. This was being paid by her mum and to relieve financial pressure from this, Hopeful Families funded 12 sessions for Zoe to attend. This improved her health and helped her with her weight, whilst improving her social inclusion as she was attending a group every week.

Zoe also wasn’t registered with a dentist. The Family Mentor discussed this with Zoe and looked at strategies to help her overcome her anxiety to attend a check-up. She managed her anxiety to register with a dentist and attend an appointment.

Zoe’s long term goal was to work in beauty, although she had no training in this. We contacted Wakefield Adult Education and Zoe enrolled onto their year-long Level 2 Beauty Award. She attended this every week and took on extra classes to improve her knowledge. She really enjoyed this course, but another barrier was the cost of the beauty kit and uniform. Zoe was asked to bring in quotes for this and these were funded by Hopeful Families to remove this barrier to her continuing her education.

Also, Zoe didn’t have a CV and needed one for when she would move on from training and into work. Zoe met with the Family Mentor and a CV was created. She was then further supported by the tutors on her beauty course to update and adapt this to be appropriate for employment in the beauty sector.

Zoe has moved on from the Hopeful Families programme whilst still attending training, and is now starting to explore options of going self-employed and applying for jobs in the beauty sector.