Told by JoRae, JOY Project Manager at Worcester Community Trust

My client joined the JOY Project two years ago. She is in her mid-thirties and has four children living at home. When she enrolled on the JOY project, she had come from an abusive relationship, had no confidence, and had lost her self-esteem and trust in other people. She was also struggling to attend the project as she has one child still under school age and two young children in primary school and one in secondary – all with different levels of emotional responses to their journey leaving an abusive home. 

She was offered and attended and participated in numerous different courses that JOY had to offer, especially those for low level mental health and emotional resilience. Initially we lent her a tablet to be able to access the online courses when she had childcare issues. When her youngest was able to access some nursery provision she started to attend coffee drop ins when she could. It was clear that she was really using the techniques the courses had to offer and was undertaking her own exploration outside of the sessions. She would frequently ask questions from previous sessions and report back on what had worked and what had been more difficult; it was clear she was doing a lot of independent research and enquiry.

After about 6 to 8 months, she become more confident and found she enjoyed the groups and decided to become a peer mentor for JOY. She reported that she wanted to give back to the project and help run and support some of the coffee drop ins whilst still working on herself and supporting her family. After some time, she then asked if we could sign post her to our Job Coaching service as she wants to get back to employment.  In the meantime, she would like to become a bank worker for Worcester Community Trust. and eventually work for WCT.

She has very recently enrolled as a trust volunteer and now is volunteering for the Community Connectors Project where she is learning new skills and developing herself to become a project worker with support of the Connectors staff. She has already supported the soup kitchen with another volunteer, helped set up for groups and sit in groups and support groups. For JOY she has been developing and has just started leading resilience crafty toolkit coffee drop-in sessions.