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Jason's story: "You've been brilliant!"

Pluss Positive People - West Yorkshire 23 December 2021
Busy kitchen

Jason isn’t proud of his younger self. He got himself into trouble; leaving school with no qualifications and falling into a life of petty crime. He struggled with anxiety and depression and turned to drugs.

Now, at 44-years-old, he wants to turn his life around.

Apart from a spell on a YTS scheme on a farm, he hasn’t held down a job before, so his first priority was to look for some voluntary employment.

He decided to join the BBO Groundwork programme, part of the Hopeful Families initiative. “I was aware that people always made judgements on my former life choices,” he says, “but I’ve been clean from all substances for six years and I just want a positive daily structure to help me move towards a more secure future.”

Jason lives in supported accommodation for former criminals and has been volunteering in their kitchen, which he loves. This has given him motivation to succeed.

Hopeful Families were able to offer Jason lots of help and guidance including compiling a CV which majored on the strength of his character.

For years Jason used his stepfather’s name instead of his own, so was lacking an identity.

Hopeful Families worked with him to complete all the paperwork required to sort that, and to begin to remove the barriers and stress it had caused.

Confidence and self-worth

His mentor describes Jason as ‘a person of high integrity, a gentle approach and a caring manner but who was oppressed by his past’.

“Working with the team, I’ve slowly regained confidence and self-worth,” he says. “I’m happy in volunteering roles for the time being and I love my time in the kitchen.

“I’ve also done some work trials at a local kennels.”

Nelson Mandella quote - No matter what the past has dealt you, don't let it destroy your future.

“I’ve been helped to get my identity back. Hopeful Families supported me with funding to deal with passport and deed poll applications and that has lifted a lot of the stress.”

Jason’s journey into employment has really only just begun.

For now he’s happy to take on voluntary roles and continues to work in the kitchen at his accommodation, but he’s finally feeling a sense of direction.

“I feel much more settled and confident. I’m sleeping much better and I’m hoping the help I’ve received from Hopeful Families is the beginning of being able to put my past behind me.

“I really feel you have been brilliant!”

Support is available 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 the 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