Kelly Hobin

Kelly’s Story: getting a foot in the door

Just over a year ago, Kelly Hobin was at a bit of a loss. Though she had been on various courses and had filled in endless job application forms, mostly focusing on cleaning, warehouse and retail, she had had no luck and had ended up in a bit of a rut. Her problems with anxiety and depression had chipped away at her confidence, and with very little work experience to her name, it seemed that the struggle to find a job was never ending. She often found herself spending her days in the house with little to do, and this would only feed further into her depressed state of mind. She was trapped in a vicious cycle.

I’d done quite a lot of applying for other jobs before this (…) you get stuck in a bit of a rut
being sat around not doing anything

Refusing to give up and determined to get somewhere, Kelly sought advice at the job centre. Noting Kelly’s interest in retail, an advisor suggested that she apply for a role at one of Barnardo’s charity shops to gain some experience in the field. She chose a local one in Hyde and now works there 5 days a week.

I don’t want to be sat on my backside all day, I want to be doing something, because
(sitting around ) will make you even more depressed and make you lazy, and I don’t want to
be lazy

Despite struggling with anxiety and an urge to shy away from the world, Kelly immersed herself in her work. She was trained up in various roles, and before she knew it she was dressing windows and working the till as if it was second nature. Now, one of her favourite parts of the job is interacting with customers, something she was initially terrified of.

I used to be dead scared about talking to people but it’s just coming naturally now - I like
being part of the community and helping people locally

The longer she worked there, the more she gained. Her training built up her self-confidence and she finally began to feel like a part of her community. She was gently pushed to face her social anxieties and soon, she began to get to know the regulars and made some friends. Her partner has followed suit, and, while waiting for some work in security, he volunteers 3 mornings a week in the same shop. Having never worked for a charity before, Kelly had no idea what to expect, but now she can’t imagine being somewhere better.

The main things for me are that I feel like i’ve become more confident, and have built up
my experience
I’m applying for retail jobs now (...) I’d be really sad to leave here if i got a new job somewhere else (but) If i did part time in retail, i could still volunteer here as well.

If you’re interested in volunteering with Barnado’s, click here