Samim joined Kineara's Reframe programme, then our Intensive Employment Support Programme in September 2017, after a domestic violence incident at home. She came to us needing someone knowledgeable, outside of the family, to discuss practical, emotional and employment challenges with.

“Without Sandra and my housing officer, I don't know what I would have done. Their work has helped me, and now I'd like to look into helping others who have been through similar situations."

said Samim.

 

After the incident and separation from her partner, Samim’s confidence had taken a knock, which meant that she had to rebuild from scratch. “Sandra (the key worker) is helping me rebuild my confidence because I’ve been out of work for 22 years,” she explains. “I am a full-time carer for my mum and two young children, aged 17 and 20. I hadn’t really done anything besides that, so after the incident happened, my confidence was knocked, where do I start now?”

Working closely with Sandra, Samim has been receiving support in the form of a listening ear and a helping hand to get her started at a pace that works for her, while she waits for professional counselling. These have included one-to-one sessions focusing on practical and emotional support and general confidence-building. Samim has also learnt how to channel emotions in a positive way, and has benefited from having a neutral, non-judgemental practitioner outside of the family.

 “Sandra has been amazing. My counselling hasn’t started yet due to the long waiting list. But every time Sandra comes down, I think she’s been more of a counsellor to me that the counsellors themselves!” she says.

As well as helping Samim rebuild her confidence and independence, the holistic support was aimed at equipping her with employability skills, including CV and application writing and learning Microsoft Office programmes. Intent on developing her computer skills, Samim is looking forward to starting a 10-week computer course from January.

“When I went to school, computers weren’t really one of those things, so I didn’t think I needed to do anything practical with the computer, or learn IT skills. Nowadays, most things are online, including applying for jobs. Sandra is helping me build my confidence up and learn how to use different programmes, which I am hoping will help me find a job.” 

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Sandra has been amazing. My counselling hasn’t started yet due to the long waiting list. But every time she comes down, I think she’s been more of a counsellor to me that the counsellors themselves.

“I was brought up here in the UK, I know my way around and I can do things. But some of these ladies come from abroad, who are in marriages that are not so good, and may not speak the language, what help have they got?

Samim is also keen to support women who have experienced domestic violence, particularly those from a South Asian background, as she understands some of the barriers and challenges they may face. She is continuing to look for opportunities in her local borough of Newham.

“I’d like to give something back. Without Sandra and my housing officer, I don’t know what I would have done. Their work has helped me, and now I’d like to look into helping others who have been through similar situations.”

Drawing on her own experience and understanding, she describes the cultural and financial pressures people often face, which she wants to support people with. “When I think about it, I was brought up here in the UK, I know my way around and I can do things…


But some of these ladies come from abroad, who are in marriages that are not so good, and may not speak the language, what help have they got? I’ve been through the experience of having to claim universal credit and having everything stopped, all my finances, my housing benefit and everything had stopped. It all just like fell on me, and my main concern was not getting into debt.

When you’re being supported by another person, then all of a sudden that person is not around, your mind is vulnerable anyway, so I’d say that was one of my biggest barriers. I understand people’s cultures, and how it all works, so I’d like to use that to help others.”

Since joining the programme last September, Samim believes her main achievements include enrolling onto the computer course, joining the local gym and developing confidence and resilience.

“Sandra suggested I try yoga to help me relax because I was stressed and wasn’t sleeping too good. She brought me a few leaflets from my area for pilates and yoga, and I ended up joining the gym. She’s gone out of her own way to find these places locally. She’s been a god-send!”


Despite being out of work for a long time, Samim is now positive about boosting her skills, volunteering in the local community and eventually finding a suitable job.

With Sandra’s support, she is in the process of applying for different volunteering opportunities and has completed a new CV and cover letter. Samim is also clearer about what she wants to do and the type of support she needs.

“I think I want to do an office job or something like that, part-time. I’m a carer for my mum anyway, so I work around her, but I told her eventually if I do find something and my hours don’t match her hours, I’ll try to get another carer for her, to come in and help her.”

“For so many years I’ve just let myself run around after everyone else. It’s just that you get into a particular routine, it becomes your comfort zone. I’ve just forgotten about myself. I think it’s about time I built myself up.”