Mum overcomes ill health and low confidence to start new career

Former care sector worker Hannah Howells (on the right with Carol Workways+) was forced to give up her job after a long period of debilitating ill-health. Aged 32, Hannah felt she was in a very difficult situation. Hannah’s confidence was at an all-time low and she wasn’t sure what she would do next. In Hannah’s view the future looked bleak. Despite these feelings of negativity, Hannah was desperate to build a better life for her and her four children.

Seeking a way forward led Hannah to contacting Workways+, the service dedicated to helping unemployed and economically inactive people improve their lives through volunteering, training, work experience and employment.
Hannah was made aware of Workways+ through a recommendation from a former Workways+ participant, who rated the service very highly.

Workways+ assigned Hannah a mentor to work with her on a one to one basis. Hannah’s dedicated mentor Mark, helped rebuild her confidence and encouraged her to commit to a period of work experience as a step to full time employment. Mark also looked at Hannah’s training and qualification needs and put into place an action plan aimed at identifying and funding relevant training courses.

Working closely with Workways + Employment Liaison Officer Carol, Hannah began a ‘paid work opportunity’ as a Youth Worker at Canolfan Maerdy Youth Club, Tairgwaith. With her experience of raising four children, Hannah had lots to offer within this role and she relished the opportunity to do something she could be passionate about.

Gill, Manager at Canolfan Maerdy said, “I quickly identified that Hannah was very keen to learn and join in with the running of the groups within the Centre. It was lovely to watch Hannah personally develop and grow in confidence. Hannah is a pleasure to have within the team”.

Hannah said “I feel more confident in myself and it being not all about baby talk anymore! I am mixing with different people and learning new skills. With Workways+ mentoring and funding support I have completed a First Aid and Food Hygiene course and I am starting a Level 2 Award in Youth Work. It is great for my children to see me back in work as I want to be a positive role model. I can’t put into words how wonderful it is to be earning my own money again. Workways+ have been very encouraging and have given me lots of 1-1 support as well as making funding available to help me get the experience and qualifications I need to get on. They have been great and I would thoroughly recommend them to anyone looking to get on in life”.

Workways + is part funded by the European Social Fund thorough the Welsh Government and is available within Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

For further information on how Workways+ can help you please text or call 07943 986122 / email or visit

Find out more by contacting our office in your local area

Neath Port Talbot