Confidence has comeback for Beth from Chatteris thanks to National Lottery-funded programme

Beth has been given the strength and skills to move forward

Beth has been given the strength and skills to move forward - Credit: Archant

A 22-year-old from Chatteris who lost confidence when she moved house has been given the strength and skills to move forward with her life due to a National Lottery-funded enterprise programme.

Beth Ward, who has a mild learning disability, moved to Chatteris from March in 2016, but her confidence plummeted and she couldn’t leave the house without a family member.

She would stay in bed until 12pm every day, and couldn’t foresee a future in which she felt brave enough to find a job.

She explained: “My mum had gone away to Cornwall, and I moved to Chatteris with my dad and my brother to start a new life. But because I didn’t know the area very well, I lost a lot of confidence.

“I used to get really nervous every time I went out, and felt like I had to look over my shoulder all the time. So I always had to have someone with me wherever I went, and I had nothing to get out of bed for. I’d finished a college course in animal care in 2015, but I didn’t feel like I could get a job because of my issues.”

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Beth’s world changed when she went along to the Ramsey Ravens Archery Club with her brother Thomas, where she met club organiser Helen Curtis-Bridges.

Helen’s day job is as a project worker for FACET, a charity providing training to adults with disabilities in the Fenland area.

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Helen signed Beth up to the Community Connections North project, part of the Building Better Opportunities initiative. This is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

The Community Connections North project, managed by training and skills provider The Consultancy Home Counties Ltd (TCHC), also included travel training, using IT, researching the jobs market and completing a CV. All of this hard work went towards a Gateway to Enterprise qualification.

Helen, who supported Beth alongside her colleague Richard Carrier, said: “Beth gained the self-confidence she needed to change her mindset, and accept that she could be independent. With support around filling in application forms and providing mock interviews, Beth was successful in gaining employment with Tesco as a festive colleague over Christmas, and has just secured a permanent part-time job at Morrison’s.”

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