Jessica is a young woman of Roma ethnicity from Bulgaria. With a background of abuse and exploitation, she never worked legally, became involved in pickpocketing and eventually ended up in Holloway Prison.
Through the community project, Hibiscus introduced Jessica to the English classes (she could speak Romani, but was not able to read or write in her own language).
Hibiscus noticed that Jessica seemed very isolated and panicky and suffered from ill mental health. Jessica had previously been under medication but when she was arrested the medication was taken away and she never got them back. An assessment by the mental health team was never completed.
In January 2016 a Hibiscus project worker had to take Jessica to a GP urgently following a mental breakdown. Hibiscus then took her to the local mental health hospital where she was looked after and given the right medications. Hibiscus then helped her register with a GP. She has become more stable and Hibiscus has helped her to re-apply for a National Insurance number (she had previously been refused). The charity has also helped to improve her relationship with her Probation Officer, and supported her to apply for a bank account.
The project continues to support Jessica as she looks for work, and encourages her to attend literacy classes and other project activities to reduce her social isolation, and improve her wellbeing.