Mary's Story
Mary registered for F4L when she was 20 years old. She was unemployed, living in a disadvantaged area, and had never worked, although she had completed secondary school. She could not drive and had recently moved to Mayo to live with relatives. Prior to moving to Mayo, Mary had become homeless and was using street drugs and alcohol. At the time of registration, Mary was in recovery and had been eight months sober and free from drugs. Mary engaged intensively with F4L and SWMDC’s supports. Almost 20 separate interventions are recorded on her on F4L file, including one-to-one meetings, phone calls, information sessions, and group meetings. Mary actively worked to develop her life skills through the programme, including attendance and participation in both life skills and personal development workshops. Mary also participated in several activation and industry certified training courses.

Other outputs from Mary’s journey through F4L include (i) referral to the local employment service, (ii) referral to a drug and alcohol family support worker and (iii) referral to a college of further education. Mary achieved multiple positive outcomes during her time on the programme. Mary now holds a provisional driving licence and is halfway through her essential driving training. She attends a family support worker regularly in addition to her addiction recovery meetings. Mary has updated her curriculum vitae and feels suitably prepared for job interview situations. She was inspired by the F4L course, would like to work in a helping role, and is currently completing a level 5 course in a health and social care area. The ‘Distance Travelled Tool’ highlights improvements for Mary in several areas, including reduced anxiety, better problem-solving skills, improved self-esteem, increased confidence, and enhanced optimism.

On completing the F4L programme, Mary offered the following testimonial:

I’m feeling good and able to handle things better, I applied for a college course, something I never thought I was capable of … I hope that one day I can help change someone else’s life like the F4L course has changed mine. I leave the F4L course with friends for life.

Frank’s Story
Frank was 22 years old when he registered for the programme. At that time, he had been unemployed for one year, came from a disadvantaged background, was registered as having a disability, and living with family. Transport represented a barrier, as he could not drive and lived in a rural area of County Mayo. He had been diagnosed with a health problem and experienced major relapses into illness. He was supported by his GP and a medical consultant. Since commencing in F4L, Frank has achieved a provisional driving licence and completed the essential driving training.

His treatment plan for his health issue is stable, and he receives ongoing support from his GP and medical consultant to monitor his condition. He has an updated curriculum vitae and feels well prepared for interview situations. The ‘Distance Travelled Tool’ highlights improvements in several areas, including reduced anxiety, enhanced problem-solving skills, improved self-esteem, increased confidence, and optimism for the future. He completed his first year in a post leaving certificate course and has achieved his ECDL certificate. He is employed part-time and is well thought of by his employers. He is investigating the potential of completing a skills-based course.

Upon completing the F4L programme, Frank offered the following testimonial, which is a ‘far cry’ from his pre-course experiences:

" I’ve developed a treatment plan for my health issues using coping skills I picked up on the course. I am studying part-time, and I have just started working a part-time job that has opportunity for progression. The interview preparation workshop we did during F4L helped immensely during this real job interview. I have completed all my driving lessons. My driving test is booked. It’s crazy how much has changed in just a year. "