A YOUNG mother separated, unemployed and living in temporary accommodation a year ago is looking forward to this Christmas.
This time last year Anne Marie Leedham, 32, of Blacon had recently split from her husband of 11 years and was living with her three children.
After being given a home by Chester and District Housing Trust earlier this year, Anne Marie decided to rebuild her life.
She applied for M&S’ community programme Marks & Start which helps people, including lone parents, who would normally face barriers gaining access to employment.
One of the groups of people helped by Marks & Start are lone parents and Anne Marie was offered work experience to help rebuild confidence and develop new skills for life and work.
She impressed bosses at M&S Chester during her two-week placement and was offered a permanent job in the store’s food hall.
She said: “I really enjoyed the course and successfully completed my placement, leaving me feeling on top of the world. I had loads more confidence and an offer of a permanent job.”
Alexis Swimer, Community Programme manager at Marks & Spencer, said: “Through the Marks & Start programme, we are delighted to be able to offer work experience placements to people from all different backgrounds.”