Case study – Michaela – The support I got from the Unlock forum gave me the confidence to start applying for work

Like many people who receive a conviction, Michaela was ashamed and embarrassed that she had a criminal record. Her conviction led to the loss of her job and her home and although her family and friends had been very supportive, she’d cut herself off from many of them leaving her feeling alone and isolated.

Michaela had been working as a teaching assistant at the time of her conviction but had always wanted to go into teaching. She knew that she needed to find a job to support herself but was certain that her chances of ever working in a school again and her dream of becoming a teacher were over.

During an online search Michaela came across the Unlock forum. She spent a few days just reading some of the posts before she joined as a member.

In one of her first posts she highlighted her feelings of hopelessness and how scared she was at the thought of applying for work. The opportunity to talk to people who had been through similar experiences had a huge impact on Michaela and many members gave her practical information such as when her conviction would be spent and, the fact that it would also be eligible for filtering at some point in the future. Being able to talk openly and honestly made her feel less isolated and she started to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Michaela states:

“Talking to people on theForum made me come alive again. It was good to know that I wasn’t on my own and that my conviction wouldn’t necessarily hold me back or stop me from pursuing my dreams”.

 

Lessons

One of the great things about online discussions is that you get the chance to hear different views and opinions from people who are going through or been through similar experiences to your own.  This means you’ll be able to find out what works and what doesn’t and also be guided to other sites or organisations for more specialist information and advice.

Links

Notes about this case study 

This case study relates to our online forum.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

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