What was the presenting issue?
“When I first started, I was not myself. I didn’t want to socialise with people, I didn’t want to do anything… I was a ghost. Domestic abuse meant there was no meaning in life for me”. Bethan wasn’t working, was on benefits and had moved in with her mum after leaving her abusive ex-partner. Living with mum came with some carer duties for her mum, stress around a family bereavement and issues with supporting her younger brother who at the time had undiagnosed disabilities.
What did we do?
Bethan came along to our winter social, meeting at the Christmas market and rollerskating. “It was SO fun. It made me happy because I was able to be out and meet people without worrying that was dangerous for me.” And then we introduced him to our social group, Project Grapevine, starting with a trip to a jobs and wellbeing fair and meeting at a café. It made me happy- looking at jobs gave me an idea about what I could do and what job I could do.” Bethan approached employers’ stalls with encouragement from other young people and Zoe (engagement worker), she had never done anything like that before and it made her happy to feel confident. Since then she has been coming regularly.
Activities include: picnic, laser tag, fun fair, meal out, bristol museum, art gallery
EET support includes: attending a jobs fair
Participation includes: Connects
What strengths did the young person demonstrate?
As well as building confidence, Bethan has been a great support to her peers. She actively listens to them in group discussions and provides empathy and relatable insights into their situations. She has proved herself to be a reliable and trustworthy friend both inside and outside sessions. Bethan has also shown greater resilience- sometimes she takes a few weeks to handle a stressful situation but then gets back in touch and gets involved with positive activities again.
What difference did our intervention make?
Bethan has liked meeting new people and starting friendships. “The people are friendlier; I’m able to talk to them and have a laugh more than the people I used to hang out with that I don’t even class as mates anymore. It’s nice to meet people that have been in similar situations, but not have to talk about it and experience things together knowing that they’re safe to be around.”
“I’m able to go out independently a lot more and have friendships that I hang out with outside the sessions.”
“I’m still a bit iffy with work but have applied for a few things, and feel a bit more confident in it. Before I never would have messaged people to hang out or approach potential new [employers]”
I have people to speak to about my issues when I need them and Zoe referred me to a healthy relationships coach. When things happen with my ex I know I have someone specialist to turn to.
“I’d like to do a bit more with maybe interviews or IPA. I want to be able to put myself out there and try out responsibility more”