Jenna was referred to Just to the Just Women Project on a probation order. She was 31 at the time and had built up debts totalling £12,000 which led to the offence of fraud by misrepresentation. She was deeply regretful of her offence, felt very ashamed. She had just avoided a prison sentence and was referred to the Just Women project as an alternative community sentence. She was stressed and frightened when she first arrived at the Women’s Centre and was very tearful.
Her background was rather unsettled having lived with her grandparents from the age of 6 due to her mother being violent and abusive and, after a few sessions with her Outreach Worker, it was clearly she was suffering from unresolved childhood trauma. As part of her support plan we were able to offer her counselling which she attended weekly. She was also supported to see a specialist debt and money advisor who helped her to look at her options and take action over her debts and finances. This alleviated some of the stress and anxiety surrounding this.
She also began to realise that she had experienced a pattern of abusive relationships for most of her life. She attended the Freedom Programme to build on this insight eventually ending a relationship that had been controlling and verbally abusive. She found the programme so life changing that she wanted to help support other women and she helped to co-facilitate 2 further programmes which helped her to build her confidence.
She began to feel more confident and positive about her future and started applying for jobs. She eventually secured full time employment and had the confidence and insight to talk to her new employer about her offence and how she had worked so hard to put things right. This new job enabled her to secure a settled place to live, deal with her debts, buy a car and put her past behind her.
“When I first came I thought my life was over, that I would never get another job because of my criminal record and that I wouldn’t be able to survive on my own. I found the staff at New Dawn New Day fantastic. They were there on hand when I needed them. They seemed to genuinely care about how I was doing and went the extra mile to keep me on track and achieve what I wanted to achieve”