“Because of Connecting Choices, I’m not that shy one who doesn’t want to know people any more. I want to know people know and get things done! I want to help others, and I know I can do anything which I put my mind to.”


What were your feelings about the work before the programme? 
I didn’t like myself, so I believed no one would want me to work for them so what was the point of applying for work. I was socially isolated and I didn’t believe that anything could change to improve my life.
How did you feel about the situation you found yourself in before the programme? What things were stopping you from working?
I was stuck, I felt nothing, scared of change and only safe with my dog. My self-esteem was low.
Why did you want to join the programme?
I wanted help, I wanted to find out who I am and what I wanted in life. I also wanted to feel more confident around others.
How has the programme helped you with these issues? What difference has the project made to you personally? Has this project helped transform your life?
Through my coach and StarFish and Genius Within, I realise that I can do things and manage my issues. I am now socially more confident and able to think about a future that involves working.
I still have problems, but I don’t run away now but have found ways to manage them. I now trust people more and don’t see things as bad as I thought they were. I am currently working towards applying for work and getting a volunteer job.
How do you feel about your life now? Is it transformed? 
Because I don’t run away, I don’t have to keep starting again. I am healthier and happier and has just begun NHS wellbeing support to be able to manage my mental health better. My Coach, Jane, has referred me to the Prince’s Trust who will help me achieve my dream of setting up my own business in crafts.
How do you feel about work now?
I am applying to volunteer in a charity shop so that I can enjoy working with others, learn about selling and retail as this will be a valuable experience before I can get ready to set up my own business.
Our Connecting Choices project supports those furthest from the job market by breaking down barriers and opening doors to opportunity in training, education, volunteering and work. It is co-funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund.