Case study shows impact of the Opportunity & Change Programme

Posted 01.09.2020

Marian  was  referred  to  the  Nottingham  Women’s  Centre by Let’s Talk Wellbeing.  Marian presented with a mental health problem and domestic abuse, later to be followed on by housing stability issues. In the initial assessment, it became very apparent how distressed and depressed Marian was just by observing her body language.  Throughout the appointment, there were a lot of tears, feelings of helplessness and isolation with no hope of moving forward.

Marian felt stuck with nowhere to turn and feeling as though this was her life now.  Marian came to live in Nottingham after being relocated from a refuge fleeing domestic violence.  Marian was a very sociable, independent person in a job she loved but this all changed once getting into a relationship with someone who she considered to be a good person.  Little by little the controlling and violent behaviour started to worsen, resulting in Marian becoming a shadow of her former self.

After years of abuse, Marian finally fled to a refuge.  Unfortunately, on her way to the refuge, the taxi she was travelling in caught fire resulting in Marian losing all her possessions, leaving her with only the clothes she was wearing.   At this point Marian was surviving on autopilot.

Marian spent roughly 6 months at the refuge until finally being relocated to Nottingham but unfortunately it was in a location miles away from local amenities and with one bus service every 40mins to an hour. Marian was very grateful to have a home but it didn’t stop her from feeling very isolated, lonely and depressed.

Once Marian started on the Opportunity and Change project the initial focus was on getting Marian away from isolation and meeting new people.  Marian started to attend the Skills Plus for Change programme, which helped her grow in confidence as she met new people and began to feel able to talk in front of a class and give her input, as well as her learning new life skills. Later Marian also attended the Loudspeaker Programme, which enhanced her confidence levels and helped Marian to realise she had creative abilities, but also the facilitators of the  programme  recognised  Marian  was  helpful  and  caring  towards  the  other  participants  and  she encouraged and supported them whilst completing her own work.  This led onto Marian becoming a peer mentor in the group.

Combined with personal navigator appointments and attending group workshops, Marian’s feeling of isolation started to lessen and confidence in being around new people increased. After being on the project for 6 months, Marian was at a point she wanted to start looking for part time employment, but before doing this Marian was desperate to move to an area with local amenities and frequent bus services.  Marian was also dealing with antisocial behaviour at the complex she was living in  which  increased  her  desperation  to  leave.    Almost  every  day  Marian  came  into  the  Centre  and searched  for  hours  for  suitable  properties  to  exchange  with.    Eventually a property became available in the area Marian was hoping for.  This was a huge sense of relief and Marian felt she could finally start putting all her focus onto finding employment.

Marian has been on a few employability programmes to prepare her for work  life.    After  conquering  her  barriers  around  mental  health, domestic abuse and housing issues, she is now actively seeking employment and more importantly, Marian has found the strength and belief within herself to move forward positively.

BBO is having a significant impact on individual lives, supporting people to increase their confidence, independence and achieve their employment aspirations.

See what our participants have to say in these case studies …

Subscribe to our e-bulletin to get the latest news and information