Joanna explains about how the support of Community Connections Essex has helped her move forward.

"I heard about the project through my Department of Work and Pensions work coach and hoped it would help me find education, training or employment.

I have suffered with my health, both physical and mentally, which limited me to what jobs I could apply for. I am a single parent to a young child and I lacked confidence and self-esteem.

I was booked on an IT course with ACL Basildon and was given the support needed for me to feel confidence about starting it. I was looking for an admin-type role and needed to improve my skills.

I was also booked onto a mental health training course which increased my knowledge and also built up my confidence and self- esteem. This enabled me to go for an interview and even though I was unsuccessful, it was a good experience.

I feel like I have moved forward. It has made me feel comfortable without feeling pressure and it is nice to know I can talk to someone who understands my situation."