Facing her fear - Jess' story
One of our colleagues, a community worker from our partner Open Door Community Foundation, met Jess’ parents on their doorstep when he went to introduce himself. They got talking about Worth Unlimited and the activities and support which Jess might be interested in.
Jess came along to meet youth worker Flo, who focuses on helping young people to remove barriers to their flourishing. Jess was particularly looking for support with maths, but she was incredibly shy with very poor mental health. She avoided making eye contact, was very quiet and rarely left the house. She was generally scared of other young people.
Jess met regularly one-to-one with Flo, but during her sessions she observed the Listen Threads social enterprise sessions that were happening with another group of girls. Over time, she found the confidence to start to interact with the other girls and then began to take an active role in the group sessions. Flo encouraged her to join in, and she has been part of the Listen Threads team ever since. She has built really trusting relationships both with youth workers and also with her peers.
Jess is continuing to meet with Flo on a weekly basis and has significantly improved her maths skills, but also her confidence. She is no longer scared to meet and be around new people and will now engage people in conversation. She has established a much larger social circle, smiles a lot, makes eye contact and can deal with life much better.
As Jess has become more active in Listen Threads sessions, the team have discovered and encouraged her to use her creative skills to come up with her own designs. She has taken on more responsibility for the enterprise and the team, enabling others to participate in the group.
Through our pathway of barrier removal leading into participation, she has gone from being afraid of others to being warm, open and welcoming. It has been great to journey with Jess and see the changes in her.