Case study

Denise’s Story

Denise was referred to The ClementJames Centre by her support worker at community action charity Paddington Development Trust. Denise explains how she has benefitted from The ClementJames Centre, and the Women’s Empowerment programme in particular.

“I’m the kind of person who will generally give everything a go. I had already been on the Job Centre’s Work Programme, which I had found not very helpful at all. But I trust my support worker, and when she suggested that I join The ClementJames Centre’s Women’s Empowerment programme for a confidence boost I decided to go for it.

You see, when you have had children and become a single mum you can feel so isolated. There was a time when I felt as if I was in a dark tunnel; it can really bring you down. I never wanted to be like that, I wanted to get out of that, but it wasn’t easy. I tried to improve my situation, digging and searching but the doors just weren’t opening. It took me many years to find the right help and to slowly take steps to live a better life.

I thoroughly enjoyed attending the Women’s Empowerment course. What helped me the most was meeting and sharing experiences with other local women because it made me realise that I’m not alone, that there are other people out there dealing with similar issues to me. At the beginning of the course none of us knew each other, but through activities we learned about all the things we had in common.

Recognising my past achievements and focusing on my goals for the future really increased my confidence and gave me a sense of direction. Things are going okay for me now. I can now switch off from daily stress and stay focused. I also enrolled on the centre’s ICT course and am more willing and able to do things for myself independently. I know I can go out there and achieve what I want to achieve.

I think The ClementJames Centre is a great place. Where I live there is absolutely nothing, but here there are people who take you in and mould you. They never judge you. Afterwards you go out there and you are ready. This is the happiest I have been for a very long time.“