In a time when I didn’t realise how much I needed saving, Brathay was there to catch me!
My name is Jess and I am currently 27, living in Bradford where my heart will always be! I started working with Brathay back in 2010, whilst I was a student in high school. I was always confident and willing to give everything a try but under this persona were many issues I had trouble resolving. Brathay was a family for me, friends that became sisters, workers that became mothers.
I needed stability and a place with a door always open, and I found it. Whether it be exam pressures, relationship struggles or general teenage life I knew that I always had a place to turn to. Once leaving school I decided to do my A level’s, knowing one day I wanted to work with young people in the city I was raised, where the voices of the young were not heard as well as I would like. Alongside studying I completed 200 voluntary hours helping run projects at Brathay.
At 19 I became a mother, a young one, a single one, which along with it brought many struggles. But once again the door to Brathay was always open. Many tears were cried but much more laughter and the support was beyond words. Brathay helped me find my calling again, working with the young people. I worked in primary schools round the city working with families in need.
In 2017 I bought my first house and a few years ago had my second child, one of the first visitors we had was my Brathay worker. Because not only was the support there in my low times it was there in the best times to.
I recently decided that the impact my work had on my life was too good not be spoken about, I knew that Brathay was doing amazing things and I wanted to be a part if it. I have started doing sessional work at Brathay and hope to continue this. The family I created in my 11 years involved with Brathay are my best friends, a journey we have all shared which has made us who we are today.