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Hopeful Families Helping Hand to Helen

Posted on 05 December 2018

Helen is a mum of three who has been out of paid employment for over ten years. Having suffered from long term depression due mainly to being low on confidence from being out of work for so long, Helen was focused on getting into work to help improve her mental health and wellbeing, as well as her children’s prospects.


Hopeful Families are committed to helping people who are facing multiple barriers in life. Assisting with financial advice, one to one support and help with daily life, the team of family mentors are on hand to build up people’s confidence, break down any obstacles, and get them to reach their objective, whether that be finding a job or helping their family’s situation.


Helen’s depression had led to a deterioration in her health and wellbeing, which in turn affected her weight and confidence, so much so that Helen struggled to even leave her house to engage socially, leaving her increasingly socially isolated.


Determined to get back on track and remove the things in her life holding her back, Helen found Hopeful Families. Working with her family mentor, Helen identified the reasons she was struggling and set herself a goal of finding a job.


One of the first steps was to boost Helen’s wellbeing and get her feeling positive again, so Helen’s family mentor discussed the option of Slimming World with her. Set with a target of attending twelve sessions and with Hopeful Families providing the funding, Helen joined Slimming World in order to manage her weight, engage with social support groups and most importantly, boost her confidence!


One thing close to Helens heart is that each of her three sons have autism. Each child gets pastoral and educational support, but don’t receive anything outside of school. Keen to increase the amount of support her children get, our Hopeful Families family mentors spoke with Helen about a support group in Wakefield called Beat Autism, who specialise in helping parents with autistic children. With this information, Helen went along to weekly meetings where the group provided support and held discussions on education, strategies and behaviour that allowed their children to prosper.


From this, Helen learned of an autism friendly kids club in the area, which she and her sons can’t wait to visit! It is due to Helen’s newfound confidence in herself that she is able to leave the house and go to social activities and groups!


However, with her three children due to restart school, Helen was struggling to afford new school uniforms due to her low income. To help remove this barrier to her children engaging in education and making new friends, Hopeful Families funded the new uniforms to relieve the financial pressure on Helen.


Despite this help, Helen was struggling financially, and needed a job. Aware that she needed to fit her work around her children’s school hours, and not wanting to overwhelm herself with work straight away, Helen sat with her family mentor to look at part time jobs lasting around 10 hours a week.


Over the next few sessions, Helen applied for two roles in local schools, with her family mentor providing support in writing her personal statement, as well as developing her interview skills and providing a reference for her.


Soon after sending off her application, Helen was invited to attend an interview at Outwood Grange Academy for a lunchtime supervisor role, and after being offered the role, gladly accepted!


Helen has recently stated that her confidence had improved dramatically since joining Hopeful Families. She is particularly enjoying her new job with the school, who have been very welcoming and have already discussed her progression opportunities and future training.

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