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Gabriella’s story: “I am looking forward for the first time in a very long time.”

Pluss Positive People Positive People - West Yorkshire Self employment 04 November 2021

Gabriella was made redundant in October 2020 due to Covid-19. She had been working part-time as a kitchen assistant. The hours suited her, fitting in with school times. This unexpected development offered Gabriella the opportunity to reflect on her working career to date and what direction she wanted it to go over the next few years.

Gabriella is in her early thirties and lives in the Wakefield area. She identified four challenges that she needed to address to enable her to move forward. Gabriella has been left with some debts from a previous relationship; one of her children was being assessed for bi-polar disorder; she currently had no income apart from her benefits and she was undecided on the direction of her future career.


Exploring options with Hopeful Families

When Gabriella joined the Hopeful Families programme through Groundwork, she was looking for some direction and guidance. Her family mentor, Debbie, spent time chatting with Gabriella to better understand what skills and experience she had and what her aspirations were along with the barriers that were holding her back.

Family mentor, Debbie Kurmis said: “Gabriella is very artistic, a real talent and she had been looking at how to become a professional ‘extreme’ make-up artist.”

Gabriella explained: “Debbie was great, she spent time discussing my options and giving me guidance and I slowly began to realise that I could achieve my ambition and goals.”


Moving forward

Gabriella identified a suitable course to gain a Diploma in Extreme Make-up Artistry. It was an expensive course and fortunately Gabriella was awarded a grant from Wakefield District Housing, under their employability support scheme.

After enrolling onto the course, Hopeful Families supported her in the purchase of the special make-up kits that were required for the course.

Debbie explained: “This wasn’t quite as straightforward as you might think. The kits had to be ordered from Australia. We had to deal with Border Force to ensure the items came through customs smoothly – a first for us. When the kits arrived in the UK, I’m pleased to say Gabriella was delighted.”

In addition to getting Gabriella started on the extreme make-up artistry course, Debbie helped her find some part-time work, to provide some household income. This made a massive difference for Gabriella, giving her some financial security while studying.


The Hopeful Families difference

Debbie added: “Throughout all this, Gabriella had been so positive and determined, not letting any setbacks get to her. She has real strength and determination to keep going.”

Hopeful Families aims to give people the help and support they need to get them moving in the right direction with their lives.

“It’s made all the difference to me. I can see a future. I felt so supported by Debbie, who went above and beyond. It gave me the strength and courage to realise that I can achieve my goals” added Gabriella.

The aim is to start her own business once she has completed her diploma in Extreme Make-up Artistry.

“I would absolutely recommend Hopeful Families. I am looking forward for the first time in a very long time and it feels good.”

Everyone at Hopeful Families wishes Gabriella all the best for the future.

Debbie concluded: “I am so proud of her achievements and her positivity. I’m sure she will succeed. It’s been a pleasure to work with Gabriella, seeing her change and grow.”


If you would like to know how the Hopeful Families programme can help you, call us on 07341 004 949 for a friendly, confidential chat, or email