Case Study

Time, and a new job, proves best healer for Soraya

23 Jan 2023
Successful entrepreneur Soraya Daniels found her life falling apart during the pandemic. The self-employed massage therapist and energy healer lacked the financial support other workers received and, as her debts spiralled, so too did her mental wellbeing. With support from JETS, the single mother from Bury is now enjoying working in a job which is giving her much needed time and mental space to re-evaluate her future.
“I was feeling overwhelmed during the pandemic,” recalls Soraya, 49. “I really struggled because I wasn’t getting financial support with my lack of earnings, and panic and anxiety set in. But I wasn’t getting full job satisfaction in the first place. My business was already proving more stressful than it was worthwhile.”
After signing up for Universal Credit, Soraya was referred by her local Jobcentre Plus to Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS), a separate strand of the Work and Health Programme (WHP), delivered by Ingeus. There, she was supported by Employment Coach Jack Rigg.
“Jack was a perfect match,” says Soraya. “I instantly felt supported and heard. My mind was in such a panic, he really slowed it down and helped me realise how important my CV was to get me through employers’ doors.”
Alongside support with her CV, Jack also organised financial support for Soraya to help with her job searches. As well as a laptop, she was also given money to buy suitable clothes for interviews and her resulting job.
Soraya says, “I had no money. My daughter and I were made homeless and put in temporary accommodation. I had no spare money for office clothes, so being appropriately dressed for an interview really helped with feeling confident. Jack helped address the practical issues that mattered.”
Now working as a customer adviser, Soraya is enjoying a less pressured job which is allowing her time to reflect on her previous business and what the future may hold.
She says, “I’ve had to be honest with myself and work out what’s important. I wasn’t taking care of myself when I had my own business, I was pushing myself so hard and I had unrealistic expectations of myself.
“I now realise that it’s not just about having money, it’s about being able to have a consistent income and my own fulfilment. As my mental health as improved, so too has my relationship with my daughter.
“I am re-evaluating what I want to do next, but right now, this is the best job for me.”

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