Nadia was first referred to us under the Stronger Families programme after an abusive relationship had forced her out of her local area and she was struggling to make a fresh start.

Moving home is a stressful experience, but never more so than when you’re being forced to leave your local area out of fear.

This was the situation when we first met Nadia, who, as the victim of a particularly violent relationship, was being forced to move to Bradford where her father lived and could offer her and her three children temporary refuge.

Nadia’s confidence was non-existent and her hopes were low. She was determined not to remain blighted by past issues, but the violence she had suffered had been severe enough to bring on epilepsy and she could no longer work or drive. She needed professional support, and as soon as she was put in touch with her Brathay keyworker, Vicky, her situation started to improve.

‘I was able to build up a really good relationship with Nadia and she began to open up about the many challenging things that had happened to her. Her confidence grew and she became motivated to make something of her life again,’ said Vicky.

Nadia’s first priority was the protection of her children and while staying temporarily at her father’s house, Vicky was able to support her in applying for places in new schools and finding counsellors for two of her children who’d unfortunately witnessed some of the domestic abuse first-hand.

Finding a job

Her next priority was finding work, and as Nadia had previously been a manager of a care home, an opportunity came up at Skills House for a care worker workshop with a guaranteed interview at the end. Vicky encouraged her to sign up for the course and even went with her on the first day for moral support as she was so nervous.

It was a significant turning point for Nadia. Not only was she was offered an interview at a nearby nursing home, but just a day or so before she found a potential new home.

‘I visited Nadia before her interview and we talked about employers not being able to discriminate and about the fact that she should not feel ashamed or embarrassed about what had happened to her to cause her to have epilepsy. We did some interview skills which seemed to empower her and a few days later I received a call from her, not only had she successfully got the job at the care home, she had been accepted for the house she had seen and the three children had got places in schools near her new home.’

Making a difference

Nadia told her key worker afterwards that Stronger Families had made all the difference: ‘She said she’d needed someone to listen to her and not judge her and help her to see that she could do so much more with her life. She told me she couldn’t have done it without someone urging her on and believing in her.’