Ashleigh was referred to Kineara by Southern Housing Group (SHG), her housing provider, to support her with finding employment and wider family needs. Having been out of work for 7 years after having children and studying in-between, Ashleigh is keen to get back into work in a less stressful way. 

“She’s been able to kind of take a certain weight off my shoulders. I’m happy that she’s come along to help as I’ve had a few difficulties with my university and just in general with their father. I’m keen to get back to work in a less stressful way.”

said Ashleigh.

Having recently graduated in Criminology, Ashleigh - from North London - is keen to find the right job that accommodates for her as a mother of two and allows her to utilise her skills. Despite several setbacks, Ashleigh believes her degree and life experience will stand her in good stead in pursuing her passion: working with vulnerable young people with challenging behaviour.

“My course and modules have made me more passionate to work within that field. I have certain friends as well that led me to do the course that I was doing in the first place. Some of my friends have been through domestic violence.”

“I think I’m a natural person that people come to and speak to. It happens quite often. If anybody wants to talk to me, I’d tell them as best as I can...what they can do to accommodate their life in a certain way. And I feel I can apply this into work.”

Ashleigh, who made full use of the employment support programme in June after completing university, has received tailored support in job hunting and wider family needs.

Working with Liz, she has completed a new CV and cover letter, and is in the process of exploring appropriate roles based on her degree. Having applied for a grant, Ashleigh will also receive financial support to cover travel expenses and new interview clothes.

Reflecting on the sessions, Ashleigh says: “It’s been going really well. She’s been able to take a certain weight off my shoulders. I’m happy that she’s come along to help as I’ve had a few difficulties with my university and in general with [the childrens’] father. I’m keen to get back to work in a less stressful way.”

“We’ve started doing quite a lot of stuff, which I’ve really appreciated.” says Ashleigh. “I would never have known I was eligible for those things had Liz not come along. So, she’s been very resourceful. She showed me different tools in how to change my cover letter for a specific job, like changing certain words, identifying key words that you can repeat, so just little neat things that I would have second guessed on. I think she’s been really helpful, really useful.”

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You know when you’ve gone through so much and you just have someone come into your life in the right way, to kind of help you get back onto things. I couldn’t be happier to meet someone like that at the right time. I think it’s amazing that my housing provider is even doing something like this. I think it’s needed.

“Speaking about her dissertation on vicarious trauma, she explains how professionals in the field can also be affected by the cases they work with, and this is something she is passionate about addressing. ”

Ashleigh is also clear about the kind of skills she wants to gain and believes there is always more to learn. She explains that she would like to improve her skills in learning “how to reassure someone without overstepping the mark, making sure I’m able to incorporate certain measures and tools, and learning not to take the work home with me.”

But it’s not just what Ashleigh hopes to gain from work, she is clear that the skills and experience flow in both directions.

“I’m really good at seeing a situation and not judging it for what it is. Kind of looking on the outside and then incorporating measures and tools that I have intothe situation, to see if I can actually help the person. I think that’s quite an exceptional tool to have. I know working will be beneficial to me and to the other people.”

Ashleigh has also received support with wider family needs, by having Liz advocate and work alongside her, to write supporting statements for various circumstances. “Liz accompanied me to court two weeks ago. She helped me with various bits, like writing up a statement” she explains. “She’s really easy to talk to. It kind of makes you feel more reassured, which is really refreshing. She’s such a lovely person. “

So far, Ashleigh has found Kineara a big support and is proactive in speaking about and taking steps to get back into work and resolve any issues. “You know when you’ve gone through so much and you just have someone come into your life in the right way, to kind of help you get back onto things.”

“I couldn’t be happier to meet someone like that at the right time. I think it’s amazing that my housing provider is even doing something like this. I think it’s needed.”