Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Voluntary work and more bumps in the road.

Life is rarely easy for me. I'm sure many people feel that way. When you watch (if you get the time) those soaps where certain characters go through continuous hardship, seemingly one thing after another and people say (myself sometimes included) 'oh give them a break, that wouldn't happen in real life, that's not realistic', but then you stop and think about your own life and realise actually it is.
There often seems to be a massive foot there to crush me back down in the ground or maybe a smaller one to trip me over when just trying to take smaller steps. I'm so grateful when good things do happen and also often experience the feeling of surprise because I've been facing so many difficulties for so long.
Getting my life back on track seems like such a massive mountain to climb but I've been taking those small steps and have come across yet more bumps in the road. (Literally there are so many journey metaphors that fit my life right now! I'm not purposely trying to use them all but I'm sure ' the light at the end of the tunnel' might feature in my next work post if I can sort out my latest problem).

After awful personal circumstances two years ago I had to leave my job and move away from where I had been living. The past two years have been far from easy but having almost managed a year, touch wood, without being an inpatient (still enough day and out patient visits mind), not receiving abuse or feeling scared to be in my own home and not crumbling apart mentally as soon as I wake up, I have started to try to put my life back together again. To put me back together again. The main reason for starting to blog again was to give myself some me time that I've never had since becoming a single mum, to be me again just for a little while.

The only way I got through the past couple of years, particularly the first was by just living for my child.
Now I am trying to revive the other parts of my life and not just be one dimensional anymore. Being a mother is the most amazing job in the world. I am so grateful for my daughter and all that she brings but I need more than that. We all do, for our sanity and one day she is going to be grown up and if I don't get the rest of me back I'll be left with nothing.

I've been desperate to get back into work for a while. Even when I was so ill I couldn't manage a 10 minute walk up the street I was still trying to apply for jobs. Then I ended up in Hospital. At Christmas.
I am so lucky to have had all this time with my child and I don't want to lose it but at the same time we struggle terribly with money. I can't cope like this and need to provide for myself and my child. Not only that I want a career (not that I could probably call my old job that), to be using my brain, to be achieving, to be learning (and not just as a mummy) and not forgetting the social side of work.

Health - my biggest stumbling block

For the past couple of months I have been trying to sort out some voluntary work in the appropriate area to help me get back into paid work, as although they say they don't discriminate, people don't like to hire you when you have been off unwell for a while.
The two areas I was looking at were helping at a local Animal Sanctuary to gain experience with a charity, fundraising and administration (and as I have helped there before) and the NHS where I have worked before and where I could see a career progressing if I can get the funds for the appropriate training and ever get into a situation where I could do night shifts again.

My local animal sanctuary is in Wilmslow and run by the Humane Education Society. What I hadn't realised about this option is how much it would cost me to travel there. I have never been able to afford to drive and from where I am the sanctuary is awkward to get to. I released after getting my hopes up about working there that it would cost me £7 or more to get there once a week whilst G is in nursery for an afternoon. I can't afford that right now and being a charity funded by donations I'm pretty sure they can't subsidise travel. Also it would be very hectic and a close cut thing getting back in time to pick up G.
 On the day where I was attempting just to go in for an induction (a Sunday) the bus for one third of the journey did not even run.

money - the other main contender
My second option had been proving to be more successful. I was given an interview and took in my documents for a CRB check, or what I belive is now called a DBS check. The interview was brief and straight forward but then  it turned out my passport for my check had just gone out of date only 2 months before.
The lady in charge of the voluntary section has told me I can't use it however I don't have any of the other options. No driving licence, no marriage licence and my mother lost my birth certificate one of the many times we moved about when younger.
It just seemed like a joke. Only two months out of date. Such bad timing and I have no way of getting £75 to get a new one. Another obstacle in my way to try and stop me from getting anywhere!

The lady informed me a copy of my birth certificate may or may not work - she wasn't sure. I don't have a spare £20 at all let alone to throw away on a copy that might not work so I contacted DBS via email. They replied ten days later and did not answer of my questions! They did however say that when none of the section A ID documents can be provided finger printing could be used. That seems extreme but I'm willing to have it done if the ID problem can not be solved any other way. I have also decided to apply for a small budgeting loan which could help me replace my passport or get a provisional drivers licence. If that is successful then it will take a few weeks (waiting for reply for loan, getting copy of birth certificate and then replacing my passport) but finally I will have the required ID for the check and be able to commence my voluntary work on one of the wards at my local hospital.
I'm not sure it will happen before Christmas now and I desperately wanted to be back in the work place before New Year but cross your fingers for me that it will get sorted a.s.a.p.

I will need this ID for the DBS check for when I do actually get back into a paid position, so it is a massive stumbling block not to have it. If I can get past it I just need to pass my occupational health check which is in a couple of weeks. I am meant to have a choice as to where I'm assigned but that did not come up in the interview so that is something else I need to discuss. Ideally I would like to be placed in a children's or a maternity ward so the specific experience will help when I do apply for a paid position. However I will have to see what they have available. They subsidise travel thankfully so that's one problem solved!

Hopefully things will work out for once and in a few weeks time I will be posting to say I have started and how my first day went. For now it's some more phone calls, more filling in forms and then a case of wait and see.


  1. This is very inspiring,Adele. Well done for putting your life and sorting things out. Good luck :) Fingers crossed. x

  2. It sounds like you have a plan and are a strong person. I'm definitely a believer that things work out in the end. All the best I'm sure you've checked but be careful with APR on the small loans as they can be extortionate