Having children is a full-time commitment for most people, and there comes a time when a parent has to take a big breath and decide to create some ‘me time’.
Stacey became a mum when she was just 16 years old, which meant she missed her last year of school; “I did my GCSE’s but I didn’t do very well,” she says.
Whilst she was supported by her family, she admits that it was still a struggle: “I attended a few adult education courses but ultimately decided to concentrate on raising my children,” she says.
Now, 17 years on, and another three children later, Stacey says she wants to “do something for me!”
“I’m now a mum to four children; aged 17, 14, 8 and 2,” she tells us, “and I’ve spent the last 17 years raising my children.
“I never had any concrete aspirations as far as a career is concerned, but after taking my children to school, I realised it’s the sort of environment I would really like to work in.
“I realised it’s time to do something for me. To improve myself and to have a career.”
Stacey was supported in approaching her goals by Angela at Yorkshire Children’s Centre, one of the partner organisations of Pluss’ Hopeful Families.
“I’ve never had the finances to return to education, due to childcare costs,” Stacey explains. “I’ve struggled to do any online courses because I have my youngest at home with me.”
Pluss’ Hopeful Families stepped in to help by supporting Stacey in enrolling on a “Level 2 Supporting Teaching and Learning In Schools” course and by funding a nursery place for her youngest child in order to free up Stacey whilst she studied and volunteered in a school.
“Hopeful Families has made a massive difference to my life,” she tells us. “The team has made it possible for me to learn and get myself a recognised qualification which has played a huge part in me gaining a full-time job in the school I volunteered in!”
As a result of gaining employment, Stacey’s partner has also found he is under less financial pressure as his is no longer the sole income. It means they now have a little extra and can save up to buy their own house. And the children have enjoyed some fully-funded trips too.
So what would Stacey say if she was talking to someone else in a similar situation?
“I’d say, if you want something and you have a chance of achieving it, don’t give up. Push yourself out of your comfort zone.”
And about her time with Hopeful Families?
“I really appreciate all that Hopeful Families has done for me,” she says. “I would not have been able to afford – or have had the confidence – to get to where I am today without them.”
We wish Stacey and her family the best of luck moving forward, and hope that it’s not too long before the dream of owning their own house becomes a reality.
If you live in the Calderdale, Kirklees or Wakefield areas and are interested in finding out how the Hopeful Families programme can help you, call us on 07341 004 949 for a friendly, confidential chat, or email email@example.com.
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