For most people, getting a job or doing what they love is a normal thing.
For Jenni, it’s taken nearly 19 years. Her caring role has always been a priority.
Jenni is a carer to her daughter, Bronte, who is autistic. It was only last year that she found more time for herself and decided to pursue her dreams.
She sought help from Your Caring Way and brought her ideas to life by setting up her own small business, ‘Mrs Jam'.
This is her story:
“I am a mum of three amazing teenagers, and I have been a carer mum to Bronte' for 19 years.
Bronte is ASD Level 2, has a severe intellectual impairment and is minimal verbal, I home-schooled her from the age of 12 to 18, which has been an amazing journey of personal development for her, including going from being nonverbal to minimal verbal and confidence in her social skills.
In June last year when Bronte began attending regular support groups and activities, I decided to look into pursuing a passion of mine, which is home organisation, budget-friendly meals and sharing about my ‘quick 5-minute jobs’ around the home that could be accomplished in between my carer role, appointments, and other family commitments.
Your Caring Way connected me with Rod, who listened to my ideas about setting up a small business, and over the past few months has supported me with advice, assistance with ‘business stuff' and regular catch-ups while my plans have come to fruition over the past 12 months.
Mrs Jam is celebrating her one-year birthday in June. She may not iron or make jam, but she can assist you within the home with budget-friendly room furnishing, grocery shopping and meal prep on a shoestring, pantry/wardrobe/cupboard organisation, general home tidying, running errands, sightseeing, support with social activities, scanning items and calendar planning.
I like to think of myself as a modern-day Mary Poppins with a dash of Mrs Doubtfire and am available by appointment seven days a week!
My goals for the future include supported mini breaks away with a jam-packed itinerary, writing a JAM manual that will include 5-minute JamJobs, simple budget-friendly treats to make at home and some time-friendly bulk meals.
As well as currently being a personal assistant to three women with disability, Mrs Jam is also volunteering at our Toowoomba Visitor Information Centre, helping share social media content for the YWCA Australia ‘Y Connect' program and is an event planner/business development officer for Link Community Services. What an amazing 12 months it's been!
Rod is stuck with me for life.
I am very thankful to him for persevering with me – as a carer with no external family or support I can be quite determined in not asking for help, but I don't hesitate in asking Rod, and he has played a huge part in helping me believe I can do this!”