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Local resident turns her life around for a new start

23 January 2018
Georgie Brown

An inspirational Torbay worker is counting her blessings after putting difficult times behind her to begin a meaningful career.

Journey to success

Local resident Georgie Brown – who is working for Bay charity Shekinah and volunteering for Sanctuary Housing-supported projects – has come through some challenging years to get to the successful point she is at today.

In 2014, Georgie was in an abusive relationship that she was struggling to get out of.

Upon moving to Devon in March 2016, Georgie attempted to gain employment and make a fresh start for herself and her children. She struggled to find paid work and felt she’d hit rock bottom. Georgie says: “It was one of the lowest and darkest times of my life.”

Voluntary placements

Through appointments in Torquay, Georgie came into contact with workers from Shekinah who organised voluntary placements around Torbay, including at the Sanctuary Housing-supported Crafty Fox Café ‘N’ Hub and a local hostel.

Georgie also worked with community organisation Imagine CIC on the Step by Step pre-employment project, funded by Sanctuary, to establish a new women’s group that offers a range of activities to help participants inspire and empower each other.

Paid work

Finally, Georgie’s success saw her offered a permanent paid position with Shekinah. She explains how that felt: “Although I had gained self-confidence through my voluntary work, when I got the call that I’d got the job I was so overwhelmed that someone considered me and was now giving me a chance.”

Despite now having to deal with a devastating cancer diagnosis for her eldest daughter, Georgie has grabbed the opportunity with both hands with her family’s full support.

“It’s a privilege”

Today, Georgie is excelling in her admin role working for Shekinah and is still involved with volunteer work through a local employment project and the Step by Step women’s group. She said: “I love my job, although I haven’t much experience in admin I’m very determined and I learn quickly.

“It’s a privilege to be working for an organisation that makes such a difference and I’m grateful for the chance to give back; the team is so supportive and my confidence is really growing. My life is finally beginning to feel like it’s mine again and hopefully my children will be proud of me for not giving up and for making a change.”

“Georgie is a real inspiration”

Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, Lynne Roberts, commented: “Georgie is a real inspiration and she should be very proud of how far she has come. We are delighted to support projects that can make such a positive difference to people’s lives.”