Jane's Story - Ex Offender Programme
Please note that all names have been changed.
Jane signed up to our workshop in February 2021, having initially been referred by a charity supporting women in previous months. With a history of drug abuse and criminal convictions behind her, she was eager to get her life back on track and make some positive changes in her life. She was suffering from anxiety, depression and low self-esteem, and had restricted access to her children. In an effort to take some positive steps, she had already started a beauty therapy course and with 10 years’ work experience behind her, she hoped to gain the confidence to get her life back on track.
This is her story...
““I want everybody to know how much this project and the For My Future course changed my life for the better. A year ago I hit rock bottom in my life; I was using cocaine, my mental health was at all time low, I had zero confidence and things just spiralled. I got arrested, I nearly lost my children and, truthfully, I really didn’t want to be here. With the help of [a local charity], I got sent on to the For My Future course with Step Together Volunteering. When I first started the course, I couldn’t even speak on the Zoom sessions. I couldn’t name one thing that I liked about myself, but with the help of my mentor, Karen, and the course, I built my self-confidence up, my self-esteem and I actually could see a future for myself. Even though I now had a criminal record, I was shown that I could turn my life around and I did. I would never have been able to do this without the help of this course. It really did change my life. I’m now drug-free, antidepressant-free, and have an amazing relationship with my children. My best friend told me she had her friend back after 8 years and I have just recently got engaged. I would like to become an Ex-Offender Peer Support Mentor with Step Together Volunteering, if I was given the opportunity. I have learnt to love myself and recently I just got told the news that I had a large cyst on my ovary which needs removing with surgery, and so does my ovary which is possibly cancerous. News like this before I went on the course would have broken me. Instead, I know that no matter what, I can get through this. I have a future and I’m stronger than what I think. So, from someone who couldn’t see a way out - there is a way out and there is a future, and it was only with the help of Step Together Volunteering that made all this possible and made me believe in myself. This is currently me - strong mentally and loving myself and life again!””
Jane, Step Together Client