Confidence & Motivation
Hoping to improve the prospects for both her and her daughter; last year Melissa Hanney took a brave step to try to get back into work.
The 31-year-old, from Bellshill, does everything for her three-year-old girl Lola, as well as supporting her mum.
However, when she was struggling to find a new opportunity following stepping back from life as a self-employed hairdresser in 2019, Melissa turned to Routes To Work.
Working with caseworker Jane Spiers, Melissa was placed on the Prospects for Parents programme and was given support for everything from finding work to her finances.
Having that network around her - a whole team looking to find the right fit for her and Lola - saw Melissa’s confidence soar.
“Back in October I started looking for work,” she said.
“Honestly, I thought it was going to be quite easy. I thought I’d apply for a few jobs and I’d get offered something because I’ve never really struggled before, but that wasn’t the case.
“A few months went by and I wasn’t hearing back from jobs so I got in contact with Routes To Work because I was needing some help.
“I got together with Jane and she asked me what I could do, what type of work I was looking for and we came up with a plan to get me back into employment.
“Jane gave me lots of help and support.
“She showed me how to identify things on applications and job descriptions to tailor my CV, she helped me do a professional CV and with application forms because everything is just so different to what it was years ago.
“She has been amazing.”
Looking for something that would fit around Lola’s nursery times, Melissa was supported through training and confidence building to apply to be an Early Years Practitioner (EYP) with North Lanarkshire Council.
Melissa completed her training and gained qualifications in children and young peoples’ mental health, paediatric first aid, duty of care, safeguarding and autism awareness to help with her childcare application. Routes to Work fully funded Melissa’s training through DGC.
“I was looking for something that was going to work around childcare,” she explained.
“With me being a single mum, it’s quite hard to find work that suits school and nursery hours.
“That was the ultimate goal - to get me something to suit my family life.
“It can be really quite challenging being a lone parent - you don’t get much support and having to do it on your own.
“You’re doing the job of two people, essentially, and it can be hard.”
Of her previous career as a hairdresser, she added: “Being self-employed, you’re not always guaranteed work.
“With me having Lola, being her only support, it’s hard to juggle work and Lola at the same time.
“I couldn’t work while she was with me. I had to wait until she was at nursery or at night when she was sleeping.
“It just wasn’t possible for me to do anymore.
“My only option was to find new work and I’ve always liked the idea of childcare. Especially after I had my wee girl.
“It’s term time, covers the hours I need and doesn’t affect anything with my wee girl.”
Melissa was successful in her EYP application and is now walking a new path where she can have guaranteed wages and the peace of mind knowing she’ll be able to provide the right support for both Lola and her mum.
She said: “It’s going to make so much of a difference. It really is.
“Financially and there’s things we want to do. I live in a wee flat and I just want to move house and do more things with her like take her on holiday, put money away for savings and things like that.
“It’s just going to help so much.
“My wee girl Lola, she’s three years old, she attends nursery and she’s absolutely wild!
“She loves doing things like going on nature trails and soft play. She likes to trash my house!
“She’s really into Barbie right now and she’s just crazy!
“She’s an outdoor wee girl. She loves to go to the park, she loves to go on nature trails.
“Being able to do more things with her and go on wee holidays would be lovely.”