A MOTHER has a new zest for life after undertaking a confidence-boosting course for vulnerable women.
Beki Metcalfe completed the Moving on Up course at Newton Aycliffe Youth and Community Centre (NAYCC) in 2012 and has gone on to become a full time volunteer at the centre, ensuring other women get the help they need.
A relationship breakdown had left the mother-of-one feeling hurt and angry and she credits the course, delivered by Durham County Council’s One Point Service, with saving her at a dark and lonely time.
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Funded by Great Aycliffe and Middridge Area Action Partnership, Moving on Up is aimed at helping boost the self esteem of vulnerable women, including those with drug and alcohol issues, depression and victims of domestic violence.
As well as setting confidence-boosting tasks, One Point brings in speakers from outside organisations, such as education providers, to showcase other courses on offer.
From the initial pilot, the scheme has been repeated several times, with the latest course ending last week.
Many women have progressed to further education and employment.
Ms Metcalfe, 45, who has also started studying photography, said: “I was in a bad place and felt very angry but the team helped calm me down and focus on what really matters.
“Since then my confidence has rocketed.”
Ms Metcalfe says her relationship with her six-year-old daughter, Phoebe, has also improved.
“I always had a good relationship with my daughter but now it is even better,” she said. “Self-esteem is so important. If mums feel good about themselves, they pass this on to their children.
“It is also important when you go for an interview. How can you convince an employer you are the right person for the job if you don’t believe it yourself?”
Deborah Bowden-Bloomfield, a former NAYCC volunteer who is now employed as a team leader at the centre, said: “I have been working alongside Beki for about a month and she is one of the best volunteers we have ever had.”
Vince Crosby, chairman of NAYCC, added: “Beki is a valuable member of the team. It has been wonderful to see her confidence grow.”
For more information about the courses on offer at NAYCC, contact 01325-307522.