The Evolve programme helps those who are unemployed and facing multiple and complex barriers to gain confidence and get back into work. Starfish is one of 14 partner organisations on the Evolve programme and provided support to one participant to overcome their barriers and take major steps towards achieving their goals. 

Here's what she had to say...

"When I first met with the Evolve team at Starfish I was extremely nervous and anxious. I hadn’t been a part of any group or been in any form of social atmosphere for a long time and I was quite socially isolated. I was very uneasy about committing myself to change. Kate met with me firstly on a one to one basis and actually I felt very at ease; it surprised me how welcoming it was and made me think that maybe this could be good for me, maybe I could overcome the fear of judgment from others and maybe be able to conquer the feeling of total worthlessness and not knowing how and where I fitted into society."

The participant's main barriers at the beginning of her time on the programme were:

  • Socialising
  • Participation
  • The overwhelming fear of failure
  • Judgment of others
  • Fear of committing to new challenges

"At first, it was the need to feel accepted and to face each fear one at a time, finding the confidence to explore and challenge myself to be open to new ideas and situation’s without falling to bits and finding the nearest exit and back in to my comfort zone."

"My journey has been, in my eyes, far more than I hoped it would be. In fact, I would say I have found my old self and even the old warts are fading and being obliterated. I have learnt so much about myself and about others. Not just in a personal sense but academically building my knowledge and sharing my lived experiences has been amazing. I have now completed such sessions as the BBO Build Programme, Peer Support and OCNWM Supporting people in recovery."

"I have also had the opportunity to attend other training sessions delivered by different, multi-disciplined agencies, which I think has enabled me to feel the inner warmth and satisfaction that I am able to help others on their paths to recovery. I also support as a Peer the Wellbeing group which meet twice a month, it is a small but growing group that really has the sense or warmth and caring atmosphere. I also attend the art for all. The welcome group and the Room Evolve project which was a group that aimed to make the hub an even more ascetically pleasing and inviting space for new and old members. My journey so far has made a massive impact to improving my whole wellbeing."