Like many of the young people we work with, Tiff came through one door to Your Own Place CIC and then accessed another service whilst she was here. She was struggling. On the face of it she was quite settled in supported accommodation and pretty mature.
After spending some time with her Volunteer Tenancy Mentor we learned just how complex her previous life had been and how desperate she was to start a new life.
I recall first meeting her. She wouldn’t make eye contact and no matter my most expert open questioning (!), I couldn’t elicit more than one syllable. It was ok because she started to open up to her Volunteer Tenancy Mentor. Most importantly they built trust which built trust in our organisation too.
In time the Volunteer Tenancy Mentoring came to a successful close. In truth the mentor worried about a dependence, but Tiff showed she was made of stronger stuff. Tiff currently receives support from Alex. Through step by step Employment Support Tiff had made extraordinary progress.
She attended our Joy of Food course and Alex and I both remember the moment she made full eye contact, laughed with her peers and left with a spring in her step. We were delighted to reward her progress with a generously donated Next voucher for some interview clothes.
Tiff is now in part time bar work. She still seeks lots of reassurance and needs ongoing help navigating the impact of work on her benefits – which poses a really threat to work sustainability for her.
But she also has a dream beyond bar work. She’s playing the long game as we all do/did in our first job. She aims to get as much out of this employment as she can and build her CV. The difficulty is that everything to do with her current and future employment is online. She has no computer and no Wifi. This puts her job at risk and her chances of finding a better one. Her rotas, training, payslips, message boards – are all online. And she isn’t.
Never one to give up, having devised a savings plan with Alex, she has incredibly managed already to save some money already. So I’m asking the LinkedIn community if anyone is able to help her out with the remaining amount needed to buy a laptop? We’re looking for around £150.
We thought of asking for a laptop, but we’d rather teach the life skill of saving than providing a hand out. Your Own Place will match any contribution made and Tiff will continue her journey to confidence and independence.