Lorraine Turk from Birmingham recently trained as a podiatrist with the aim of becoming self-employed. But even fully qualified she was struggling to build a client base for her new business venture that offers visits to customers in the comfort of their own home. Lorraine said: “Being qualified is one thing, but affording the specialist equipment is another. I needed an ultrasonic cleaner and other specialist podiatry tools so that I could offer my clients a professional service. Those things don’t come cheap and I was finding it hard to save the money, but then I was told about YouCan. I had no idea that I could apply for a grant for help with my business. “With an ageing population and diabetes on the rise, podiatrists are in increasing demand and I wanted to put myself in the best position possible by having the latest equipment.” Lorraine applied for £300 from YouCan. Her plan was to spend some of the grant on uniforms and advertising but the bulk was to be spent on specialist tools and an ultrasonic cleaner. The grant application was passed and Lorraine was awarded £300. She said: “It’s a great help. My business, Footsense Podiatry, is now growing and my family are supporting me too. Thanks to this help I’m now really positive about the future.” If a £300 grant would help you bring your bright idea to life, please get in touch?
Will has set up a couple of community projects with the help of two YouCan grants after first raising money for the foundation himself! A floating support worker in Buckinghamshire, Will works with customers who have mental health issues and learning disabilities and wanted to help those who live in social isolation. He said: “I didn’t just want to apply without having helped the cause. I came up with the idea of a triathlon and a team of ten colleagues got involved in swimming, running, walking and cycling. I am thrilled that we raised the highest amount ever achieved by colleagues for YouCan – a total of £750.” Having done ‘his bit’, Will was successful in gaining two grants for £600 which has enabled him to create two community meetings – one monthly and one fortnightly - specifically focussed on preventing social isolation. “The area I cover is quite rural with spread out villages so it can make socialising more tricky. I am pleased that the group that come along are really enjoying a couple of hours together. Having two groups means that we can offer a more fun, social group as well as a more informative one.” Customers attending the Aylesbury group have got involved in board games and arts and crafts and have got on so well that they arranged a night of bowling together (paid for by themselves) and want to incorporate this into future get-togethers. Adult learning has got involved in the more informative group which runs in Wycombe and is looking to offer a variety of sessions including ‘art for expression’, budgeting, cooking on a budget, stress management and confidence courses. Will concluded: “It’s great as people are now interacting [...]
Mark struggled with his anxiety. Suffering from depression, he found it difficult to get out of his house and mix with new people, meaning he felt isolated and out of touch with the world. Mark had always wanted to be a professional tattoo artist, but his mental health and income always held him back. That was until Mark’s support worker, Leeanne, told him about YouCan. With her help, he filled out the application form requesting a full grant of £300 to help him kick off his tattoo hobby, hopefully turning it into a career. It wasn’t long before YouCan grant manager Elaine came back to Mark, approving his request in full. He was ecstatic, and quickly set about purchasing tattoo ink, pots, needles and guns, fake skin and stencils. “He did lots of research and really looked after the grant money,” explains support worker Leeanne. “He pulled together his own starter kit and, with advice and guidance, tattooed some relatives. “Some of his neighbours have also let him tattoo them and weren’t disappointed by his work. Some even donated money so he can progress his training and update his equipment.” Mark understands he is still learning, so is hoping to start a traineeship at a local tattoo parlour. With professionals on hand to answer his questions and guide him, he hopes he will grasp new techniques for detail and shading. Leeanne thinks the opportunity YouCan has provided Mark has been really positive. “He is extremely creative and has his own artwork displayed around his flat. This has given him something to concentrate on and has had a positive affect on his mental health. “Even though he has not made any profit from this yet, it [...]