We were contacted by Steve who has a 3 year old son. He asked for “support around organising his life”.
What he was finding difficult was juggling being a single parent with finding work, retraining, having time to himself and finding the best way to move forward.
He worried that as all his time was spent looking after his child, he would find it hard finding a job and earning money to support them both.
Steve is a great dad. However he felt like he needed something else, not just for himself, but for his child. He knew that although currently his child is at home all day – soon he would be in nursery, then school, and then before he knew it, grown up.
“These thoughts are natural for any parent. Most of us want the best for our children but are unsure how to get there”.
Some of us will have support networks (friends and family) that help out and advise, while others don’t. Some of us even have unhelpful people in our lives who don’t understand how difficult it can be, or those who simply give bad advice.
We started by simply having a coffee with Steve and chatting about his interests and goals in life. This wasn’t an interview, test, or us asking him for every little detail. Rather he told us what he wanted to tell us, and after a few meetings, we were at the point where we knew each other. (Something that many dads tell us is a good thing, as we’re not telling them what to do, giving them targets, or deadlines, or criticising their life.)
Steve wanted to retrain and go to college when his son was in full time education, but knew he needed to re-sit some GSCEs in order to be accepted.
We looked into him doing re-sits, which came at a cost. We went away and spoke to some other agencies, where together we were able to cover the full cost.
Steve enrolled onto the course, where he received support to remember and relearn Maths and English, which allowed him to apply for college.
Steve received free childcare while he was studying, and support from us all the way.
“He knew that he wouldn’t have been able to re-sit his GCSEs without our support, due to the cost and lack of childcare, but he said that the support from us was the main factor in him developing himself”.
Steve did all the work, but as he said, “it’s a lot easier and less scary when someone is on your side”.