In this case study, Marie talks about how Future Pathways helped her to break down the barriers in her life which were holding her back.
Before registering and working with Future Pathways, Marie felt that it was not possible to have people in her world that could care about her.
Marie had not heard of Future Pathways until her previous support worker called on her behalf to register her. In describing her initial feelings about engaging with the service, she felt worried about being told what to do.
She said: “I thought ‘oh no, they’re going to tell me what to do’ and I will be re-living my life again. But no, it wasn’t, it was something different.”
When Marie met with her support coordinator she felt at ease because the first meeting took place in the comfort of her home. Together they have good conversations about agreeing and working towards personal outcomes. Being more social and improving Marie’s overall mental health and wellbeing was identified as important for Marie. This involved bringing in a trauma support worker from Health in Mind.
Initially, this transition was not easy for Marie because it took many months to build a trusting relationship with her support coordinator, where she felt that she could be heard, and believed about the trauma she had experienced as a child in care.
Marie’s perception of working with a trauma support worker involved feeling scared about sharing elements of her life because she didn’t know what the reaction would be. However, Marie was encouraged to share only what she felt that she wanted to share, which empowered her to speak up for herself and have a choice. Feeling that she was in a safe space and that she had choice helped Marie to feel that making a difference in her life was possible.
Marie feels that she is growing in confidence in a supportive and safe environment, where she feels empowered to plan, have choices and make decisions that will see her life move forward and live the life she wants.
Through attending pottery classes, Marie has learned a new creative skill. While Marie felt that she could only attend the classes with a befriender in the past, she now feels confident to plan her trip to and from the classes on her own. She is also looking forward to joining the next set of pottery classes and attending a new catering class which has allowed her to engage with more people in her community.
Marie added: “I didn’t know that I could get on in life. I can’t ask for anything better – Future Pathways is fantastic.”
In this case study, Jack talks about his experience of working with Future Pathways and how it has helped him.
Before meeting his Support Coordinator, Jack was unsure about how things were going to go, what support he would receive, and even if he’d be entitled to receive support. “I’ve always been independent and tried to make my own way, so it was new for me to take that leap and reach out,” he said. “Nothing was sure in my mind, but I was willing to go with it.”
Jack felt at ease meeting his Support Coordinator for the first time because of the way the Support Coordinator spoke with him. He felt listened to and understood in these conversations. Jack felt that it took a while to open up, but after a few meetings with his Support Coordinator, he felt more comfortable.
Jack’s overall mental health and wellbeing was part of these conversations. Upon reflection, Jack felt that looking back on his overall wellbeing at different stages of his journey was helpful because it reinforced the direction he wanted to move towards, especially when he felt confused. These discussions also helped him to remember his full journey.
Discussions about the future occurred as a gradual process. Jack’s Support Coordinator knew that education was important to Jack and they worked together towards this. Jack realised that he was carrying a ‘load of worries’, ‘suppressing things’, and found ‘old wounds were reopening’ which meant that he had to stop his studies at the time. When Jack first registered with Future Pathways he felt resistant to go down the path related to his past experiences in care, but felt that he had to start ‘dealing with things’.
With the support from Future Pathways, Jack was able to work through things during therapy sessions that were purchased from the support fund. The Discretionary Fund was accessed to assist Jack with purchases when moving house so that he could be closer to his children. Finally, Jack started to attend a college course, which he highlights would not have happened without Future Pathways’ support.
For Jack, the first year of being supported by Future Pathways felt like a journey. He always had a focus and plan about where he wanted to be with his studies, career and personal aspirations: “this was something I had searched for my whole life”. With the support from his Support Coordinator, Jack was able to work through and prioritise his plans based on what was important to him. Resources were also made available for Jack to work towards his plans.
“I’ve had immense support, it has changed my life completely,” he added. “It’s allowed me to move forward and I feel like I’m probably at one of the best points in my life.”