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Annabel's story: "They made sure I had everything I needed to get started in my job"

Pluss Positive People - West Yorkshire 27 December 2021

Twenty-year-old Annabel has a rare chromosome disorder which has required many visits to hospital. She can’t walk very far, finds learning a challenge and experiences pain.

But she didn’t want her disability to hinder opportunities for her to volunteer or seek employment.

She heard about the Hopeful Families project from others in her local community, and by reading some of the positive stories from previous participants.

Annabel was already working with Project Search; an NHS initiative to help young people aged 19-24 to find paid work – but felt that Hopeful Families could offer her more support to reach her goal of volunteering and getting work experience.

“I enjoy helping others and I’ve a keen interest in admin,” she says. “I’m pretty good with computers and I love the performing arts and animals.”

Wonderful experience

Annabel joined Hopeful Families’ BBO Groundwork project and – working in collaboration with her NHS support – she was quickly heading in the right direction.

She was issued with a laptop and programme to enable access to manage learning, she was DBS checked and registered for placements in the voluntary sector, supported in producing a CV and helped in her applications for apprenticeship opportunities.

“The experience was wonderful,” she says. “I got equipment to help me in work and help my disability.”

Annabel enrolled on an admin course to help gain qualifications and is excited about her future prospects; “I’m also completing several online training modules on topics including relationships, communication, telephony, time management, health and safety etc.

And all her hard work has paid off. Annabel secured an admin role under the Government’s Kick Start Scheme.

Her steps to employment needed a full dyslexia assessment and Hopeful Families used the Access To Work programme (a funded service through DWP to get people with disabilities back into employment).

That ensured she could access specialist equipment and have transport to and from work.

Hopeful Families have been so helpful’” she says. “They made sure I got everything I needed to get started in a job.”

We’re here for you

Hopeful Families is a community programme run by Pluss and a team of five West Yorkshire voluntary and community partners.

It is jointly funded by National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund; the programme is designed to help individuals from the region’s most socially excluded families.

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