Blossom Stories

Hannah’s Story

Hannah's story is fabulous & I hope it will inspire others. She is an amazing young woman who hasn't had an easy life.

Hannah is a twin & was born prematurely. She has had to be a fighter right from the start. Hannah is a lovely young lady. She came to us lacking in confidence & wanting to make progress in her life. She has two things she loves, children & making the most delicious cakes.

Due to some health issues when she was little, Hannah is partially sighted. This impacted Hannah as she has grew up, things we take for granted, she can't easily do. She has had to rely on public transport or lifts so it can be easier to stay in & not go out.

She had studied & qualified to be a nursery nurse. However, her shyness & lack of confidence meant that she only had part time job at a nursery .She had been given the job as she knew someone at the nursery but she had never been successful in an interview. Her lack of confidence causing her to freeze in the interview.

Hannah knew she wanted to change her life but she wasn't sure how. So she came to the blossom charity & told us her story. " I knew that I wasn't happy in the job I had but I wasn't doing well at making any changes. As I talked about my life, I was excited to think I could be helped to make changes .If I could be helped, I was prepared to put in the effort.”

We offered Hannah a place on the programme. She joined a group of women who all wanted to make changes in their lives, all different, with a variety of goals.
“I felt very nervous initially “ said Hannah “but after the first workshop where we were introduced to each other, I realised we were all nervous & that I wasn’t the only one, I immediately felt a lot better “

The course is designed to help with skills, body wellness & confidence through workshops & coaching in addition help is given on image & style. The workshops ranged from learning our strengths & passions to a relaxation & stress management workshop. Hannah suffers from a lot of headaches & she spent time will Sally Carmichael, our body & wellness practitioner. “What I liked “said Hannah “was that I learnt how to help myself “

It is something we are passionate about, as we want women to leave with skills, knowledge & ability to help themselves.
Hannah was also given a coach who she spent 1-1 time with. They spent time working out what Hannah wanted & importantly how to get there.
Hannah makes the most extraordinary cakes .She creates wonderful cupcakes & experiments with new recipes .she decided that she would like to sell these at events & promote herself for commissions.
“I know at the moment, I don’t want to do this fulltime, but I decided I wanted to setup a small business selling my cakes “
Hannah has developed a proper costing & quoting model. She has a brand: Fluttery Hannah & she is regularly receiving orders. Indeed we decided to ask Hannah to make cakes for all our events & workshops.

Hannah decided that she wanted to leave her current employer. She was keen to earn more & if possible work fulltime. She had a good CV but needed coaching for her interviews so she spent time with her coach practicing & gaining confidence in her abilities. As part of the programme. Hannah also received a makeover day. “I gained so much confidence from the day, “ said Hannah. I am petite & wanted to look more grown up & not be seen as a little girl.”

So Hannah now had a new look & more skills to approach the job market with .she saw a job in the local press & applied .She was successful in being asked for an interview. The time she had spent with her coach paid dividends. “I was so excited as it was the first job I had ever got through an interview “

We were delighted for Hannah. We saw how much more she valued & understood herself at her best .Its what we try & do, work on our strengths. Research shows it is a much more positive way to approach life. Our approach in part uses the Gallup strengthfinder assessment. Which they concluded after a 40-year study of human strengths. Their work shows that where we have an opportunity to focus on our strengths, we are 3 times more likely to report on having an excellent quality of life.

Hannah’s story doesn’t stop there as 6 months after the programme had finished we sent her a card asking how she was doing & offering her the opportunity for another coaching session or to attend a workshop.
“I was bowled over to receive this, “ said Hannah “but it came at such an excellent time for me “

So Hannah returned & decided to have another coaching session. It was during this that her coach thought she would benefit from more support “. She wrote a note suggesting Hannah had a few more sessions. We agreed to this, as we want to help change sustain. Hannah had seen another role she wanted to apply for, she applied got it, was seen as a perfect candidate. She is now working fulltime at a school rather than at a day nursery.
What’s great too is that Hannah is now doing more things outside work. “I’m so excited, “ said Hannah. “I love my job & combining it with my love of baking.

“Thankyou blossom charity for giving me the support & training I needed to make this work.

Charlotte’s Story

Local business woman Charlotte benefitted from a Dream On funded programme and this is her story:
Charlotte came into the programme because she wanted to get that elusive work/life balance. She had started her dream business, running a lovely teashop but soon realized that the business was taking up too much of her time…working seven days a week, with very little holiday and no time for herself and her family. She needed to make some changes if her business was to survive and flourish.

Charlotte had 1 to 1 coaching sessions with Jackie and they first looked at the basics of her business…opening hours, menu selections, shift patterns etc. Once this had been addressed it became clear to Charlotte that she could take some time off for herself and the business would not suffer.
They then looked at areas to diversify her business. With her newly found confidence, Charlotte started to put in place her ideas…running different events and offering more than you would expect from your local teashop.
Today the teashop is going from strength to strength. Charlotte loves the fact that she has been able to run a successful business in difficult times, which offers much to the local community and beyond. As for finding time for herself… Charlotte has started horse riding lessons and is able to spend more quality time with her family.
Charlotte’s story is a great example of how Dream On can help women to achieve viable and sustainable change in their lives. In fact, earlier this year Charlotte won the Blossom Award to celebrate her success.

Set up for women in the East Anglian region the Blossom Charity runs side by side with Dream On to help women who are wanting to make changes that can lead to long lasting differences to their lives and wellbeing.
Part of the work supported by The Blossom charity is the Blossom Development Awards. These are offered to individual women who know they have a great business idea, for example, but are not sure how to turn those dreams into reality. Working with women who face personal, financial, location and other barriers and offering them opportunities to build their confidence and skill. To help them be the best they can be.
Each award is tailored to the specific needs and strengths of the individual, using a wide selection of workshops and 1 to 1 coaching.
If you think you would benefit from one of Dream On programmes please contact them for an initial chat and to explore what programme would be most suitable for you.
Start to change your life right now!

Debra’s Story

Debra joined one of our programs and ended up modelling for us!

We held a fashion show at the launch of The Mix in Stowmarket. It’s a fantastic new place, which has the vision of being a leading destination where young people go to feel inspired, develop confidence and experience creativity. We feel the goals of The Mix are very aligned with dream on and The Blossom Charity, so apart from wanting to support The Mix, we also wanted to be able to promote our work and see if there is interest in us running a programme this year with 16-19 year olds.

We needed some models. We were keen to have models who had been on our Blossom Development Programme and Bridget wanted to interview the model about her experience on the night.

We did get a volunteer, Debra. I remember Debra when she first came to visit us. She’d read an article in YLM and had thought we might be able to help her.

She recalled the time she came to us: “I was a bit nervous coming to dream on. I felt very apprehensive and worried even phoning them up.”

Debra did ring us, she spoke to us and we thought it would be good for her to come in and have an initial chemistry session.

We arranged a meeting with Jackie, “Jackie was so friendly, I talked through my situation, my fears for where I was in my life and my future,” said Debra “Just talking out loud and being listened to was great, my family are supportive but having someone independent to talk to was just what I needed.”

Debra was facing a huge transition. She suddenly found herself in her mid 50’s on her own. Not only was the financial security a huge concern but also the experience had impacted Debra’s confidence. She needed to find work and try and map out a future.

“I sat down with Jackie and she outlined a programme just for me. As I listened to the design, which had a series of workshops including career coach yourself, budgeting and managing money, creativity and stress management, together with some 1-1 coaching, I thought, that sounds great but how much will it cost?”

Jackie explains the approach “We designed a programme to meet Debra’s goals. Given Debra’s financial position, I was aware that cost would be an issue. I was quick to reassure her that The Blossom Charity would fund this so there was nothing to pay.”

Phew!...Well the story continues and a few weeks ago as Debra came towards the end of her programme, I chatted with her on the budgeting and managing your money workshop.

Debra explained how her life was now working, she has a new home, a new job and a new found self confidence.

“I feel good about myself” she said “I’d love to pay you back in some way.”

Now I don’t think she realized what she said. I needed someone to model at the fashion show and be interviewed.

When I said she volunteered at the start of this article, I probably should have said that she bravely agreed.

We travelled together to and from the event:
“Would you ever believe you could do this?” Bridget asked. “No,” replied Debra, “ but I feel great and so much more confident, thank you for helping me move in my life.”

You know seeing Debra on that catwalk and hopefully inspiring other women.