Stronger Families started to support me in October 2018. I have always struggled with my mental health. I have depression and anxiety which has always made me too fearful to try anything. My confidence has never been very high so going out was a real struggle for me and, as I had been out of work for so long that really didn’t help my confidence.
I started Stronger Families and my Key Worker was Paula. From the very start she was encouraging. She put me on an Inspire and Achieve course at Learning Partnerships. The first day I couldn’t even bring myself to go in. My anxiety was so bad that I felt ill. With a lot of encouragement I made it in. The second day my anxiety was really bad but when I met everyone I wondered what I was scared about in the first place. I really enjoyed the course and was sad when it ended. It really did bring my confidence up. Going on the course made me think I have got to just push my anxiety away and just push myself to do things I wouldn’t normally do.
I started seeing a mental health worker who Paula referred me to. I’m not much of a talker but it felt good to just get everything off my chest. I did a First Aid course which was very informative. Me and my son went to a pottery class with my Stronger Families Key Worker and I could tell my son had so much fun as we didn’t get out much because of my anxiety. He asked if we could go somewhere else the following week so we started going out every weekend for food or to parks. I realised I don’t need to be so anxious all the time and my son loves going out with his mummy.
Paula helped me to apply for jobs and for a Teaching Assistant course at Leeds City College. Walking into a class of thirty people – I nearly didn’t go in but I did it and I finished my course in July 2019. I got a placement at my son’s school which has also helped a lot with my confidence. In the future, after my level 3, I plan on going to University to study to be a Teacher and Psychologist after I have retaken my GCSE’s. I went to the Lifelong Learning Centre at Leeds University to meet with an advisor to get information about courses.
I am currently looking for Teaching Assistant jobs that fit around my studies but my dream job is to be a Prison Service Psychologist. I am currently volunteering at a local Foodbank run by the Church and I found that I really enjoy meeting new people. Stronger Families really has changed my life. My confidence is a lot higher and, with the help of my Key Worker, I finally believe in myself and am on my way to creating a better life for me and my son.