Sandra still remembers it vividly to this day. It was the moment she’d decided to end her own life.
This was no snap decision. After 10 years of spiralling depression, she’d reached a point where she felt she couldn’t take any more. But as she stared at the row of pills she’d carefully lined up on the bedside table, something in her head suddenly made her stop.
Life had been so different for Sandra 10 years earlier. She was married with 2 kids, had a responsible job, a nice house and her own car. It was the sudden and unexpected death of her mum that turned her life completely upside down.
Consumed with grief, Sandra became completely depressed. Her relationship with her husband and kids deteriorated, she lost her job and nearly lost her home. As her life began to unravel, she shut herself away completely from the outside world. Her confidence and self-esteem plummeted and so did her weight. She started eating nothing but baby rusks, crisps and bananas and was soon diagnosed as anorexic.
Things started to turn around for her after the Job Centre suggested she try a programme called Roots To Wellbeing*, run by Groundwork. It helps people who are long term unemployed to improve their health, wellbeing and future job prospects. Although not keen at first, Sandra decided to give it a try and now says it was the best decision she ever made.
After Roots To Wellbeing, Sandra gradually started speaking to the other people on the course and made new friends. She gained qualifications in First Aid and Health & Safety and learned about healthy eating. At the end of the 12 week programme, Sandra stood up in front of over 100 people to tell them about the progress she’d made. The prospect of doing this would have terrified the old Sandra. But the new Sandra took it all in her stride.
"Thanks to Groundwork and Roots To Wellbeing, I’ve now got a job, I got to keep my house and I’ve got my life back. I want to get back to where I was. I know it will take time, but I will get there.” Sandra
After the programme finished, Sandra got a part time job as a cleaner at a local nursery school. Getting a job meant she avoided losing her home. She said: “If you’d told me 6 months ago that I’d have any sort of job, I’d have laughed in your face.”
Sandra’s life has improved beyond all recognition. Her diet is now far better, she looks and feels much healthier and her confidence has vastly improved . For the first time in over 10 years Sandra recently treated herself to a few new clothes and some jewellery. She’s also just got herself a small second hand car, which has been a huge boost to her independence. As far as she is concerned, life is just beginning and she has started making plans for her future.
The Roots To Wellbeing programme continues to help many people, like Sandra, to completely transform their lives and start building a positive future for themselves. For more information about the programme, telephone 01942821 444 or visit Roots To Wellbeing.
* Roots to Wellbeing in Warrington supports those who are claiming Employment Support Allowance, Job Seekers Allowance and Incapacity Support. This project is funded through a range of partners including Golden Gates Housing Trust, Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group, Warrington Borough Council, DWP, Warrington Partnership, NHS and Community Development Foundation. It is a 12 week programme based at Bewsey Community Centre, with two teams per week.