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Tracey’s Journey with Money Matters

At 15, Connect resident Tracey Proctor left school to care for her family. Today, with help from the Money Matters team, she has gained a newfound confidence, is financially stable and has found her career path.

Tracey’s family first moved in to a Connect property to accommodate her brother, who had cerebral palsy. After her brother’s passing, and later her father’s in 2014, finances became tight. The cost of her dad’s funeral left little money in the pot and the bills built up. Afraid of being unable to pay them, Tracey and her mother would “hide them under the sofa cushions and pretend they weren’t there.”

It was only when Tracey encouraged her mum to get in touch with Connect that they were able to start dealing with the problem.

“One day, I said…we can’t keep avoiding the mailman…You need to contact Connect and get some advice”

With a quick call they were in touch with the Money Matters (MM) team, who set up a meeting for them with Ben Lashmore-Davies, one of Connect’s Economic Inclusion Officers, “within three days.”

Tracey took the lead, getting her father’s account closed and a new account set up for her mum. She also made sure that the letters no longer hid under the cushions, instead sharing all necessary details with the MM team. With their guidance she was able to build on her budgeting skills, getting her and her family’s finances back on track.

The support Tracey received from the MM team didn’t end there. They put her in touch with Hawthorn Mill, where she began volunteering; however, during this time her mother passed away and she found herself stuck.

“I didn’t know how to move forward with my life.”

Upon Ben’s suggestion she enrolled in college, where she discovered a love of English and teaching, made strong connections and qualified as a Level 3 Teaching Assistant.

Since that first meeting with the Money Matters team, Tracey has started working at Leeds City College, her money management skills have greatly improved, and she is now no longer afraid to pick up the phone and ask for help.

Watch our interview with Tracey below.

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