When Ledora came to the Motiv8 programme she had lots of complex challenges and issues in her life. She had been out of work for a long time, had mounting debts and there was a very real threat of eviction. She also has severe dyslexia.
She said: “I was angry about the situation and also very depressed. I had been out of work for a long time, and although I had previously done a college course in clothing/textiles, I was not in a good place to start job-searching. I was also struggling to access jobs online as I don’t know much about computers and I was getting frustrated with the lack of support to help with this.”
Ledora was signposted to Motiv8 by her local job centre coach who thought that she could benefit from Motiv8’s personalised approach and that they would be able to help her with some of the barriers that were holding her back.
Since then, Motiv8 has been able to support Ledora with her housing situation, with advice from their specialist partners at Shelter. They have also accessed debt advice by putting payment plans into place, maximized her income and made significant reductions to her bills. She has also been supported to apply for a personal independence payment and has been helped with the transition over to Universal Credit.
Ledora is particularly grateful for the support because she has severe dyslexia and sometimes feels she is overlooked.
She said; “What I appreciated most was that the Motiv8 team listened to me and realised that I needed extra support. They referred me to a ‘Healthy Minds’ course to help with my self-esteem and self- confidence too. They have always been at the end of phone for me and they understand me!”
Beckie, Debt Advisor for Motiv8, said:
“Ledora is a completely different person to the one I met back in June 2017. She has turned significant corners and has become much more positive. She felt the world was against her, but she has accepted all the support we have been able to offer and is now in a much better place to move forward."
Since we filmed Ledora’s story last year she has been working with our specialist partners at ForHousing to find out more about self-employment and setting up her own business as a seamstress. She is very excited by the prospect and said:
“This is a new starting point for me. Motiv8 had already taken me from A to B by building up my confidence and providing lots of great support – but now I’m at C and can’t wait to start this new chapter!
“I had a lot of experience in the clothing trade back in the day, and have always done sewing for friends and family. The business advice from Luke and the team at ForHousing has been both practical and inspirational. Without it I wouldn’t have thought about self-employment as an option.
“There was a bit of a sticking point in that I needed a professional sewing machine to allow me to give a proper professional finish. A home sewing machine doesn’t do this on all materials. Motiv8 were able to source me some funding from ‘500 Acts of Kindness’ and with that I’ve been able to get a machine to get me started.
“I have a friend who is also interested too, and we plan to branch out together – so watch this space!”
Ledora already has orders waiting – from track suits and prom dresses to a whole dance troop of costume alterations. We wish her the very best of luck in her new venture.
Luke, Ledora’s Enterprise Advisor at ForHousing said:
“Self- employment can be a daunting option for anyone, especially first-time entrepreneurs, so for Ledora to overcome her own reservations about her abilities was a huge success. She has a wealth of experience as a seamstress and no shortage of creative and unique ideas to run with. So, despite a less than ideal starting point, I have every confidence that Ledora will continue going from strength to strength.
It’s been a pleasure to work with Ledora, she’s a delightful person and I’ve truly enjoyed seeing her progress and develop her idea. I’m looking forward to seeing where she goes from here! “