Claire was working as hotel cleaner and lost her job quickly after the pandemic and lockdown occurred. It wasn’t long before Claire was struggling financially. With personal bills to pay and no income coming in she was reliant on borrowing from family members.

She said: “I was out of work for six months and quickly began to struggle financially. I didn’t like borrowing from family and it was putting a lot of stress on me. I was worried about what it would mean if I couldn’t find a job, and the uncertainty about that and where I was going to be living impacted on my ability to concentrate on my goals and plans for the future. I felt anxious and stressed – I really wanted to be independent and work on my career goals but I was experiencing a lot of setbacks.”

Claire realised that she had skills from her previously hairdressing training and job in a salon that she could put to use and came up with the idea to be a self-employed stylist.

Reaching out to The Prince’s Trust, she enrolled in the Enterprise programme and as well as learning the skills needed to get her business up and running, she also accessed essential other services and funding which have helped her gain confidence, stability, and a positive outlook on her future.

She is now able to focus on her career goals and aims to build on her independence by moving into more secure housing, expand her skills by gaining more hairdressing qualifications and continue to develop professionally.

I was excited to have training and guidance on starting my business from The Prince’s Trust. When I had my first call with my keyworker, I realised there was support beyond the self-employment too. I was signposted to the RockTrust who have helped me with housing support and helped me access free meals when I couldn’t afford to get food from the shops. It also meant I had people to talk to during a period of uncertainty.

“I received a grant from The Trust to pay for my business insurance and buy equipment, so I’m prepared to start. I’ve also been further developing my business plan and coming up with marketing ideas for reaching clients such as refer a friend discount. My experience has been really positive so far and I’m feeling a lot more confident about what the future holds.”