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BBO Breakthrough: Kirsty's Story

Posted on 06 March 2018

Kirsty first joined the Building Better Opportunities (BBO) Breakthrough Project in May 2017 after being referred by Coventry City Mission, a local community centre.

When referred to James, the Breakthrough Co-ordinator, Kirsty was having considerable issues relating to benefits and had no income. Kirsty was reliant on being issued with Food Bank vouchers and had racked up large debts with Severn Trent Water, TV Licencing, Gas & Electric and was reliant on Social Care for financial support.

Kirsty had an addiction to drugs and alcohol and was using on a daily basis. Due to the addictions, Kirsty was severly depressed, stressed and anxious.

The first thing Breakthrough did for Kirsty was to apply for the correct benefits that she was entiltled to. Once these were accepted it meant that Kirsty was in receipt of, and still is receiving Income Support, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits.

After a few weeks of working with Kirsty she stopped engaging with Breakthrough and contact was lost. Time went by and after trying to make contact with her, James bumped into her at a local drop in session he was holding. He spoke to Kirsty and she informed us that the addictions had got worse but she was now seeking help from the relevant agenices to get herself clean and sober. James spoke to Kirsty about coming back to the project, and she agreed to meet up again and get things back on track.

Since that meeting Kirsty has shown great progress, she has beaten the drugs and alcohol, is now clean and sober and attending regular sessions with Breakthrough. With the commitment shown by Kirsty, together we have managed to:

  • Sort debt repayment plans
  • Obtained a grant from Severn Trent Big Difference for £903 to pay off her arrears
  • Be accepted onto the Severn Trent Big Difference Scheme and reduce Kirsty’s current water bill
  • Obtained a TV licence and arranged an affordable repayment plan
  • Create a realistic budget plan
  • Complete a priority housing application
  • Complete a Mental Health Awareness course – securing a 100% pass mark
  • Get an active role in the community – attending different workshops
  • Secure a volunteer peer mentoring opportunity which gives the opportunity to complete a Diploma
  • Plan for the future and create a CV to move onto job searching

Kirsty said, “Breakthorugh has helped me to change my way of thinking about the important things in life. I am feeling more confident and able to ask for the help that I need. I feel I can now look to the future as I am no longer dependant on drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. The plans I have for the future are what I want to be focusing on so I have better prospects for me and my family”

For more information on the BBO Breakthrough project get in touch with James Hoare, Project Coordinator on 0121 5305528/