Mava is 21 years old and has been attending the Make It Your Own programme with Impact Arts since October 2019.  Mava was referred to the programme from her Housing First support worker as she was living in temporary accommodation and had been deemed high risk of becoming homeless due to her drug addiction and poor mental health, however Mava is currently in active recovery and about to sign her permanent tenancy.  In Mava’s transition into recovery she has left her old life behind including her friends, which left her feeling isolated and anxious about socialising.

Mava is unable to work at the moment due to poor mental health, Mava suffers from PTSD, psychosis, depression, anxiety and part schizophrenia. She left school early with no qualifications, having severe dyslexia Mava struggles to read or write and feels this is a barrier to her moving into further education or employment.

From her very first workshop on the Make It Your own programme Mava was enthusiastic, bringing lots of creative ideas and being excited to try new things.

Mava enjoyed the shopping trips and was able to budget well choosing large pieces of furniture to upcycle, painting them and adding her own artwork. Mava tried sewing for the first time making a cushion and apron, she said that was her favourite thing she learned and was keen to learn more often coming early to the workshop and staying late. Mava also never missed the group drop in session and still continues to engage in the weekly drop in sessions for past and present participants. Mava has made good friends with another participant and has met up outside of Impact Arts on several occasions.

The tutors on the Make it Your Own Programme arranged an initial meeting at Impact Arts with a literacy support worker from North Ayrshire council, from that meeting Mava was able to arrange ongoing future literacy support locally. Mava was delighted and really keen to learn, although she had found other ways of coping, she recognised not being able to read was a huge barrier for her future aspirations.

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Since attending Make It Your Own Mava enjoyed sewing so much she expressed a desire to build on these skills with the dream of one day being able to study fashion or textiles at college. With this in mind the tutors helped Mava to apply for the Life Changes Trust Aspirational Award. Mava’s application was granted and she was awarded enough to purchase 3 months of sewing class tuition, a new high spec sewing machine, tailors dummy, threads and £100 worth of fabric. 

Mava could not be happier as she has something to look forward to with the aim of building her skills to create a portfolio that one day will help her to apply to college. Mava still struggles with poor mental health but finds that having things to look forward to and being creative really helps.