At the Cardinal Hume Centre we aim to work with the most vulnerable people in our community. The ultimate goal for all the work that we do is about helping individuals to build up their resilience so that they can lead fully independent lives.
Jeanita, in our employment team, is currently working with Muhammad, who has been out of work for the last fifteen years. Muhammad’s spirit was broken when he saw the country he had grown up in being torn apart by civil war; and as a result the passion and ambition he had had as a young man were replaced by a deep sense of loss and hopelessness.
Muhammad’s journey back into work is just at the beginning, but because of the help he is receiving he can see a light at the end of the tunnel, and is able to focus on moving forward. The practical and understanding advice he receives is sparking his past passions and reawakening his ambitions, and that’s evident in the way he talks about his carnival photography:
“I love Notting Hill Carnival, especially the colour and the multicultural atmosphere. You find yourself there with different people from all over the world. A lot of people think it’s just about drinking and dancing, but there’s a lot of research, art and politics behind the carnival and the costumes. If the project does happen it would be really good for me. Jeanita is excited about it and I hope something will come from it.”
By offering dedicated one-to-one support Jeanita is helping Muhammad to rebuild his sense of purpose. She recognizes that forcing vulnerable people into the job market before they are ready is not a long term solution to often complex problems; and her work with Muhammad is a great example of the tailored way in which staff work with vulnerable individuals. There is a very person-focussed approach to the support services here and because of this people like Muhammad can have hope for the future:
“Before I came to the Centre I had no hope and I felt there was no life for me. The Centre has helped me a lot. Jeanita has encouraged me to wipe the dust off my photography project and give it life again. She encourages me and helps me with my mental health. She gives me a chance to talk to someone, and she keeps my mind working.”