(30th September 2020) Andrea has been taking part in a programme called Explore, run by Reviving the Heart of the West End (RHWE) https://rhwe.org/. The purpose of Explore is to “support those who consider themselves far away from the life they want, to take steps towards feeling confident, resilient and ready for work”.
Explore is one of many projects being funded through the North Of Tyne Community Led Local Development Programme (NoTCLLD) https://northoftyneclld.weebly.com/
RHWE uses SIGNAL to help people identify and overcome the barriers they face in their lives.
NoTCLLD is a 5-year programme funded by the European Union. It uses SIGNAL to measure its social impact and to target its resources at areas of real need.
This is Andrea’s story

Andrea is an outgoing, friendly, warm person who is keen to share her story because she hopes it will inspire others into believing they too can take control of their lives to make a better future.

She is an unemployed single Mum with 3 sons each of whom has their own challenges ranging from severe dyslexia to auto-immune disorder and autism.   She described her life as ‘living in a bubble’ in which she struggled to protect her sons and manage their complex needs at the cost of her own physical and mental health.

“SIGNAL really helped me. The way it’s structured and the way the indicators are described on the Life Map means that you feel you can do something about them.  What I like about it is that it doesn’t point the finger at you.  Some surveys I’ve had to complete end up making me feel bad about myself because they seem to highlight all the things I can’t do.  SIGNAL does the opposite”

Then came Covid.  It was with trepidation that Sandra, RHWE Personal Development Lead, invited her to complete a second survey, this time via Zoom to comply with lockdown rules.  Against expectations, Andrea presented as a totally transformed individual. Previously Andrea had lost her motivation and struggled to feel worthy and now she was smiling, talkative and upbeat.  In a word she appeared happy.   So, how had this happened?  The turning point was when she read a piece that Sandra had posted on the organisation’s EXPLORE Facebook page about how to ‘be kind to yourself’.  That simple post germinated the seed that was now ready to grow and bloom. SIGNAL had enabled Andrea to discover yellows and greens in her life where she thought there would be reds; ‘be kind to yourself’ gave her the permission to change her life.  “SIGNAL allowed me to take control and set my own priorities and goals”

She started exercising for the first time in 17 years.  She graduated from pilates and squats to taking herself off for walks in the country.  To do this she had to take a leap of faith and trust her sons to be able to look after themselves.  Short walks proved that they could, so she extended the walks, returning home to find that her son who has always struggled with basic tasks was now cooking for the family. Andrea is fit and healthy, her energy is infectious, and she has inspired other women to join her on the walks to experience the immense boost to their mental health and wellbeing.  Her sons are much more independent, and their health and wellbeing has improved too.  Andrea is applying for jobs but is no longer stressed or depressed at not yet getting one.  The most significant green on her SIGNAL follow-up survey is ‘self-worth’ which she has marked as an Achievement.  And, yes, she really did climb a mountain – on the 27th August to be exact:  Ben Nevis, the highest in the United Kingdom.

 

 

“Just to let you know I made it to the top of Ben Nevis. On the coldest wettest day of summer. I did it in under 8hrs. I'm already eyeing up Snowdon”. Andrea, Sept 2020

We congratulate Andrea on her fantastic achievement!

So how can you learn more about SIGNAL and how it could benefit people in your community? Contact us at contact@clearsignal.org and we can arrange a demonstration. We are also happy to offer you contact details of our partners should you wish to speak with them directly. We would love to hear from you!