“I’m so happy and proud of how far I’ve come in the past year, I feel like I’ve achieved so much.”
On Mondays you can find me working with Diana and Debbie cleaning houses ready for new families to move in, and during the rest of the week I work as a cleaner at The Gardener’s Rest – a lovely pub in Kelham Island with the kindest staff around. Cleaning is a very therapeutic job to have, it makes me feel the same sense of relaxation I get when I colour in drawings. It takes my mind off things that could make me worry and I really enjoy it.
Before I started my jobs I spent most of my time cooped up in my bedroom, and before I was cooped up in my bedroom, I was homeless. My experiences over the past few years have had an impact on my mental health and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to work again.
Things are different now.
My mental health is better, I’m able to budget my earnings, and I have a home of my own that I’m slowly decorating. I’ve even got a little kitten and he helps keep me well, (when he’s not trying to jump up into the washing machine!). Without my jobs I wouldn’t have been able to afford a pet.
I also have two children so sometimes I have to take my youngest son to school last minute. That’s never a problem though because my work colleagues are so supportive and flexible which has made the whole process easier. And I couldn’t have done it without my BBO Work & Enterprise Coach. When I finished receiving support from my BBO coaches I cried! They’ve given me so much and I still miss them now.
I’m doing well though. Instead of bottling things up, I now talk to my family and opening up helps me with my mental health. In the future I hope to be able to work full time, and carry on with my colouring!