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Lisa’s story: I found myself gaining in confidence and strength

Pluss Positive People Positive People - West Yorkshire 08 September 2021

The Hopeful Families programme in West Yorkshire has helped many people. Each one has had a barrier that has been holding them back, from getting on with their lives, whether that’s back into work, starting their own business, finding a way into training or simply building their confidence and life skills to put them in a stronger position to take their next steps in life.

Lisa joined the Hopeful Families programme when her child was one year old. Lisa, aged 40 lives in the Wakefield area and was experiencing anxiety. She was determined to be a good mum and was very protective of what her daughter ate, her development and this resulted in her being unable to face leaving her child with a nursery or childminder. For Lisa, this was a very real barrier that was holding her back from returning to work.

Prior to having her daughter, Lisa had never been out of work. She was made redundant while on maternity leave. Lisa had worked in import and export and was fluent in several languages.

Lisa’s family mentor helped by identifying the support Lisa needed, to deal with her anxiety and a referral were made to the Children’s Hub.

“This made such a difference in how I was feeling and what I was doing with my daughter. Over time, I began to relax more and I recognised I was doing all the right things as a parent.”

Lisa was also referred to NHS Live Well to address Lisa’s anxiety.

“Gradually, I found myself gaining in confidence and strength and I began to feel more like me!”

Lisa began to attend toddler groups. These sessions helped to get her out of the house and allowed her daughter to mix with other children.

“I started to go to other groups and just before lockdown came, I’d built up daily activities to attend, which were brilliant for my confidence, being able to talk to other mums. I got to the stage where I felt confident enough to explore local nursery options.

“Hopeful Families also paid for some taster sessions to help build my confidence, so I’d feel fine about my daughter going to nursery when I found work.”

Unfortunately the Covid-19 lockdown was introduced and everything was put on hold for Lisa.

“I had reached a point though, where I felt I’d have the confidence to send my daughter to nursery which was a massive step from me compared to the when I first joined Hopeful Families.

“Through the support from Hopeful Families, I gradually felt myself again and, in more control, able to deal with life again.”

Since this support from Hopeful Families, Lisa started a new job in March, doing systems project work. It is home working, with flexible hours and gives Lisa a work-life balance to enable her to work around the needs of her daughter.

Family mentor, Debbie said: “Everyone at Hopeful Families want to wish Lisa all the best in her new job. I’m so proud of Lisa. She has come a long way while on the programme. To see her change from when I first met with her, to how she is today is very moving and I’m sure Lisa will continue to go from strength to strength.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Hopeful Families programme and what support may be available to you, email or call 07341004949 for a friendly and confidential chat.