Single parent start up: Mildred’s story

Single Parent Start Up

Mildred, a single parent aged 23 from Surrey, had taken time out of the job market to raise a family. She wanted to return to work, but wasn’t sure what she wanted to do or what steps to take to re-enter it.

She was initially referred to the Making a Difference programme through a local agency and was introduced to her Employment Coach Cass. However, her main barrier to entering the workplace was childcare costs so she decided to take a programme break. Mildred returned to the programme several months later when she was closer to accessing free childcare during potential working hours.

She discovered during her break that she enjoyed helping her family clean their houses and was keen to find out if these skills could be used to progress into work. Being a self-employed cleaner would also give her the flexibility that she required to work around her childcare needs.

One of Mildred’s problems to progressing with Cass was her inability to access anything digitally as she didn’t have a laptop. Cass helped her to apply for a refurbished laptop through a local charity, which enabled Mildred to access relevant information and progress with her cleaning business idea.

Cass was also able to refer Mildred to another local charitable organisation which supported Mildred to progress her business plan and offered mentoring to ensure her business was viable.

After working with Cass for several weeks, Mildred moved on from Making a Difference to start her own cleaning company.

Cass commented:

“Mildred has proved that when you have that space to focus on everything it can start to make a difference. Mildred recognised the right time to start looking at her future and that was when her child started a nursery placement. Mildred will definitely succeed in anything she does as she is keen, strong and determined.”

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