I began my journey with GRoW in June last year when I heard about the programme through my daughter’s school. I started with the ‘How to Write a CV’ session but I slowly realised that I needed more than practical advice to get a job, I really needed help with my confidence too. I had recently moved from Doncaster to London and was feeling incredibly lonely, I didn’t know how or where to start getting a job after such a long employment gap and it was making me feel very low. Meeting the other mums on the GRoW programme was a huge help though as it really helped me build my confidence knowing that there were other women in similar circumstances to me.
GRoW helped me prepare for interviews and apply for jobs but a lot of the time I was still feeling very low and like I couldn’t do anything and was useless. GRoW were a huge help to me at this time, they wouldn’t let me give up and my Adviser gave me so much inspiration by helping me realise my achievements so I could begin to recognise my worth. I started learning about mental health through GRoW and it made me understand a lot about my own mental health and how I could also help others.
Now I feel really confident and instead of relying on others and blaming people around me all the time for not helping me I have learned to take more responsibility for improving my own life. I appreciate now that other people can help give you the resources you need to improve your skills and knowledge for example, but they can’t guarantee you a job offer. You have to go out there and make it for yourself. GRoW has helped me to get to a point where I am confident enough to do this for myself and I am really happy now to be volunteering for the YMCA, gaining work experience and what’s more, helping others to improve their lives too. It is helping me so much with my confidence and is really so rewarding. I work there for 2 hours every day Monday to Friday and it’s also helping with my mental health as I’m now so busy.
My Manager at the YMCA has told me she is really happy with the work I am doing and would be pleased to give me a reference for jobs that I apply for. I always apply for the jobs in the GRoW weekly bulletin and through Indeed and I am hopeful I will get a paid job soon. I used to apply for a job and then sit and wait for a response but I don’t do that anymore as I have learned you shouldn’t just rely on one job, you need to keep trying. I apply for every opportunity now that comes my way.
Through my volunteering with the YMCA I have realised how much working is helping me with my mental health. When you sit at home and see other people out working it creates so much self doubt in your mind. The people I work with now help me to inspire others and I give them motivation too. I want to help other women and to empower them. If you are feeling down you need to reach out and let other people know how you feel. They won’t judge you and there’s nothing wrong with talking to people about your challenges. They will listen and help you come out of your situation. That’s what GRoW and their support network have done for me and I am more than happy to talk with other mums about their strugges without any judgement. If anyone wants to get in touch I am here to listen! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org