After life threw a curve ball, Torus tenant Katie wanted to rebuild her confidence, regain skills and have a positive impact on others.

Several years ago, Katie was in an abusive relationship with someone who broke her self-esteem and brought a wealth of pain through domestic violence.

Spending eight months in refuge, support from Torus first began by finding Katie alternative accommodation. She was encouraged to open up to the St Helens service ‘Safe2Speak’, a service delivered by the Torus Support Network, on behalf of St Helens Council, which supports all victims of domestic abuse in the St Helens area, not just Torus tenants. Katie was also introduced to Torus Foundation and the Employment Advisors who helped her take those initial steps to return to work.

Aware of Katie’s previous experiences the team were able to identify her individual needs and update her CV. While looking for roles to build up her confidence, Katie asked if she could take part in the PTS Rail Training and Employment Programme, which provides track maintenance training people to be part of teams across the North West.

The Foundation helped Katie to prepare for the interview with techniques and interview clothes. She impressed the interviewers and continued to do by showing commitment and dedication during her training and assessment period.

Katie said

“I went in with no expectations, but my outlook changed as my trainer and the Foundation both kept encouraging me, I knew this was my opportunity to show what I was capable of.”

After passing the course in March 2020, Katie started work for Vital Morson. Her role involves covering several train stations ensuring people aren’t trespassing, causing any vandalism and providing support to commuters. In the last two months, Katie has carried out eight interventions after noticing individuals were in need of emotional support.

She puts it down to being in the right place at the right time, but her own experiences have proved vital help for these people.

“I saw one man sat with blood on his face, explains Katie. “I started talking to him to get a sense of his state of mind, trying to anticipate his actions. It’s important to listen as well as talking and not being judgmental. By sharing some of my own experiences, I was able to get him to open up and he agreed to speak to the Samaritans.

“Over the years my own mental health deteriorated, years of people judging and questioning my capabilities. I spent time in rehab after drinking as an attempt to hide away from my problems. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in recent months and how I’ve worked through my challenges. I want others in my situation, to know that although you might not realise it yet, but something comes along and you can change your situation.

“Taking that step to speak to Torus Foundation has led to me being in a job which I love, and I believe I’m good at and I’m making the positive impact I promised myself I would. I appreciate the personal touch and all round support the team has provided.

“My goal is to continue encouraging others by pulling all experiences together in a book and of course it will feature Torus Foundation!”

Employment Advisor Sarah-Lou adds

“Katie has faced many challenges over the years, and she’s has done tremendously well, we’re privileged to be part of her journey.

“The Foundation jointly funded Katie’s training along with Procure Plus which has so far enabled over 30 people to complete the programme and move into full time job roles in a growing industry.

While details of the next enrollment are being confirmed, Torus tenants are welcome to register interest for the next intake. Contact the team about this programme or find out about the other employment and skills support available by emailing employment@torusfoundation.org.uk or call 0300 123 5809.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse or looking for mental health support, please don’t hesitate to seek help. Our information page includes several support organisations across Liverpool, St Helens and Warrington as well as some national details.

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