Sarah had hit rock bottom when she turned to charity Save The Family for help. Already a sufferer of anxiety and depression, her personal situation deteriorated when she experienced serious family problems.

The charity, a community partner of Novus, provides residential accommodation and support for families that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and who have multiple and complex needs.

Novus delivers high quality education, training and employability services to the families at Save The Family’s base in Chester. Our education team gives residents not only the skills and knowledge to gain qualifications and thrive in employment, but also the belief and feeling of self-worth that was very often absent before their studies started.

Sarah, who had limited qualifications and was hampered by doubt and a lack of confidence, enrolled on Pre-Tenancy, SFLE Retail Skills, Functional Skills English and Functional Skills Maths with Novus.

The retail course presented her with the opportunity to run the on-site shop for residents, which crucially gave her a feeling of purpose and achievement. Using the skills she obtained on the pre-tenancy course, Sarah started applying for housing in order to move her family back to the community. Novus Tutor Victoria Hart says: “Sarah is outgoing and will talk to visitors on-site about her experiences. Five months ago she would keep her head down and walk past people.”

When Sarah completes her studies and moves on from the charity, she aims to run her own business – something that would have been unimaginable to her before she received the support of Save The Family and Novus.

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