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For Together Housing resident, Samantha, getting back into work with the help of Newground Together has made her “a happy mum with a happy family.”

Samantha is a single mum living in Todmorden and has 4 children aged 2-16 years. She was keen to get a part-time job after being unemployed for 4 years. Samantha was referred to the Newground Together Employment Team in April by Together Housing’s Tenant Sustainability Team.

“When lockdown started, I was a stay-at-home mum,” said Samantha, “but I really wanted to get back into work. I worked for care services in the past and I was keen to get out and support people in the community during the crisis. But I was a bit scared about leaving my children with childcare. And I’m not great with using a computer so I thought I’d struggle to find a suitable job.”

Samantha started to work with Lorraine Fenney from Newground Together’s Employment Team. Jointly, they improved her CV, practised interview skills and found references for job applications. More than that, Lorraine helped to build Samantha’s confidence and get her ready for work. Lorraine said: “I showed Samantha that she was incredibly resilient and she had great organisational and time management skills. We worked together to find several possible jobs that she could apply for considering childcare for her young family. We also completed application forms over the phone.”

In May, Samantha was delighted to get a part-time job with a care company which is ideal for her childcare arrangements. “I’ve totally changed since I got back to work,” said Samantha. “I felt low about myself when I was unemployed. Now I’ve got my sanity back! I feel really good helping people especially at this time. It’s made me a happy mum with a happy family!”

Lorraine and her colleagues don’t just help people to get into work, they can also advise on benefit claims. Samantha was concerned that she might be worse-off having a job. She was also daunted by moving onto Universal Credit which was a new system to her and meant she would receive payments monthly instead of weekly that she was used to.

Lorraine helped Samantha to contact the Department for Work and Pensions to explain she had been offered work and helped her to apply for Universal Credit. With advice from Lorraine over the phone, Samantha realised she would be much better off by going back to work. She also now prefers the monthly Universal Credit payment. Along with her monthly pay from her job, she finds it an easier way to budget her money.

Samantha and Lorraine continue to speak on a weekly basis, and this will continue over the next few months. Newground Together’s support doesn’t just end as soon a client gets a job. Looking back, Samantha said: “I’ve never had this much help before. When I was out of work, I had lost the Samantha inside myself. My advice is – accept the help that’s available and take the leap. Lorraine has been an absolute Godsend!”

For more information and to contact the Employment and Skills People for FREE help and advice.

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