Case Studies

SAMEE Success Stories

At SAMEE we are incredibly proud of our beneficiaries and their achievements, this page is to celebrate them and share their stories. For both the Steps Into Self Employment and the Disabled Entrepreneurs Business Start-up Service programmes we have many beneficiaries successfully self-employed and many others progressing with our support. The personal development we have seen through their self-employment journeys so far is outstanding.

Steps Into Self Employment Programme

Anton's Gardening Services

Anton joined our Supported Self-Employment Programme project in Nov 2020 and is challenged with ADHD and is on the Autism Spectrum. Due to personal challenges, he was struggling to find any suitable employment opportunities that could fit around his additional learning needs, and the job losses caused by the impact of Covid-19 meant even tougher competition in the jobs market.

After 2 months of participating every week on our pilot programme, Anton’s mental health condition improved rapidly. He received excellent results to the test marketing questionnaire which boosted his self-esteem, and with lots of encouragement from his adviser he fully engaged with the next phase of the programme in order to officially set up as self-employed. With hands-on advice and practical guidance from his adviser Anton compiled a fully researched business plan and launched his gardening maintenance business in mid-January 2021.

As a result of joining our Supported Self-Employment Programme, the positive changes to Anton’s life has included newfound confidence and increased self-esteem. By engaging with new business customers, his mental health has improved which means he is better able to integrate with the local community. And finally, his resilience and financial health has improved with less need to rely on welfare benefits.

Will's Workshop

For Will’s case study we have a lovely letter from Jessika Hulbert (Will’s mum) talking about his work with SAMEE and the improvements she has seen from our support.

“Since starting with SAMEE charity, William has gained in confidence and although the steps are small and slow, the skills he has gained have already helped him to move his business into a successful venture. 

William is always keen to join the sessions with his coach which are friendly and focussed, but at the same time giving Will the time to express himself and take things at his own pace.

I can’t thank SAMEE charity enough for all they have done for William: he is now developing skills to take with him into the future, and he has much to look forward to.

I wholeheartedly recommend SAMEE Charity to anyone needing support and on-going advice for their young person with a learning disability. Everyone should be given a chance to shine, which William certainly has because of the wonderful, dedicated guidance that SAMEE charity have and continue to give him.”

Jordan's Football Refereeing

When JW joined our project, his confidence was at an all-time low because he had been unemployed since leaving education. He felt that his neurodivergence was the reason why employers would not consider employing him.  From the outset JW was intrigued by the long-term support and the prospect of making a living from what he enjoyed doing most – refereeing football matches.

Over the first 12 weeks of our project, JW and Rob took plenty of time to get to know one another, and trust and rapport began to rapidly build, particularly when a love of football was the perfect common ground between them.

The first step was introducing JW to existing Dorset County-level football referees who took time to explain how they got their careers started. One particular referee was disabled and making a solid income from officiating specialist football matches for disabled players.

Over year 1, Rob helped JW to gain his F.A. qualifications, and put shape to how he would need to be self-employed as a freelance referee. One of the positive aspects of JWs neurodiversity is that once he has made a decision, he applies maximum effort, and Rob was impressed with how eager JW was to progress through the support stages of the programme.

JW is now an official F.A. registered self-employed referee. He continues to meet with Rob every now and then to keep him updated on his amazing transformation from being resigned to a life on benefits to living the dream! His football dreams!


Ben's Creatures

When Ben joined our project, he was in a dark place (his words). He said that he was regularly feeling low and even had suicidal thoughts at times due to being unemployed and aware that his Autism was in his opinion a barrier to finding work.


We linked Ben with SAMEE adviser Rob. Over the first 12 weeks they took plenty of time to get to know one another, and trust and rapport began to rapidly build between them. Originally, Ben wanted to explore self-employment because he felt that he could never work for an employer due to his Autism. Rob has challenged Ben’s mindset about this belief over the first year of the project, and now Ben believes that he could search for traditional employment if he wanted to, but he ‘chooses’ to explore his self-employed idea. This has been a remarkable step forward in Ben’s positive outlook.

Over year 1, Rob has been helping Ben to shape and plan how to take his original business idea of creating a Legoland-like insect themed play park which they both jokingly called ‘Bug World’. A positive aspect of Ben’s Autism is that he can retain detailed information about a range of wild creatures that matches the same level as professional wildlife experts. 

Rob started to find innovative ways to gather evidence for the SISE qualification like video recordings, mind map-style action plans and photographs. Another challenge was to encourage Ben to start his grand business idea on a slightly smaller basis so that he can work towards his dream self-employed goal of opening the world’s first bug-themed play park. 

Probably the most significant impact of our support with Ben has been the jump forward in his confidence which has led to a huge development in his social skills. Ben now feels more comfortable holding eye contact when he converses with people, and talks with genuine passion and enthusiasm when promoting and presenting his business idea.

Watch Emilys Video here

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Disabled Entrepreneurs Business Start-up Service

Lavish4Me - Clair Lawrence

Clair joined our Disabled Entrepreneurs Business Start-up Service (DEBSS) project in September 2021 and challenged with multiple health challenges which has prevented her from working in traditional employment.

From the first meeting with our project adviser, Clair had a very clear idea of how she wanted to start an aromatherapy business,

but was desperate for advice and guidance on what steps to take in order to realise her dream of being self-employed. Our DEBSS provision allowed Clair to be pared with a qualified business adviser. Clair’s advisor spent plenty of time getting to know her to fully understand the medical challenges she faced. This made it possible for them to work together at her pace and capability. 

Clair successfully launched her aromatherapy business called Lavish4Me in March 2022 and very quickly enjoyed her first sale which she was thrilled about. SAMEE continue to support Clair with any hurdles she comes across while running her own business to ensure her employment is sustainable. 

From joining the DEBSS project, Clair has developed strong self-employment skills as well as newfound confidence and resilience. She is determined to run a sustainable business with her ultimate aim of being free from welfare dependency within two years. SAMEE will continue to guide Clair with free access to volunteer peer-to-peer mentoring support whenever she needs it.  

Wisdomystiks - Natalie & Jodi

After suffering the loss of her eldest daughter in 2016, Natalie was really struggling with her mental health. What got her through this low stage was what Natalie called a miracle intervention involving deep meditation and meeting the fellow single parent and future business partner Jodi.


In March 2019, Natalie and Jodi were referred to our DEBSS provision by their Employment & Training Officer at Sovereign Housing. They already had a business idea to start their own transformative wellbeing business running meditation workshops for troubled people, but stated that they needed self-employment skills to make their plans a reality.

Over twelve hourly meetings, the business partners learned how to carefully plan their finances, develop a test market research campaign and create a robust business plan which resulted in winning vital grant funding for their venture launch.

We linked them to one of our qualified self-employment mentors who has expert marketing experience which proved to be vital to the early success of their business model.

Since launching their business Wisdomystiks, both Natalie and Jodi have started running wellbeing workshops every week and have recently sealed a major contract to deliver their transformative meditation sessions in residential care homes across Dorset.

Forklift Driver - Sean

Sean was referred to SAMEE from Job Centre Plus in March 2021 and wanted to explore employment opportunities in property maintenance. Sean is a single parent with two boys and challenged with a mental health condition. Due to his single parent status, he struggled to find any employment opportunities with hours that could fit around his parenting needs.

After just three meetings, Sean’s mental health condition improved rapidly. He had received positive praise from the food re-distribution charity and promoted within 3 weeks to become their senior fork-lift truck operator.

In fact, Sean received further good news because his work experience supervisor was so impressed with his skills and positive attitude that they decided to offer him paid employment! And even better they offered flexible hours so Sean could look after his boys and become the positive role model to them he always wanted to be.

As a result of engaging with us, the positive changes to Sean’s life have included newfound confidence and increased self-esteem. Sean’s mental health has improved which means he is better able to integrate with the local community. And finally, his financial health has improved with less need to rely on welfare benefits. In fact, he has even managed to get Saturday jobs for his two boys!

Jacqueline's Confectionery Creations

Jacqueline joined our 2020 DEBSS project in April just after Covid-19 hit. She was a single parent living in poverty  challenged with mental health issues.

She was interested in developing a craft-based business making cards, candles and chocolate bouquets. We helped make an immediate impact with Jacqueline by talking about the benefits of volunteering from home during the Coronavirus pandemic.  

We linked her up with the Samaritans who trained her remotely with telephone skills, and after a few weeks of volunteering Jacqueline’s confidence increased dramatically. During one-to-one support meetings, we worked alongside Jacqueline to help her conduct a test marketing exercise and create a robust business model. 

Our intensive support style gave Jacqueline a huge boost of confidence as she realised that she could overcome the main administrative barriers to her dream of becoming a self-employed craftworker and she successfully launched her business in September 2020.

This is just one example of why our DEBSS project core service has made such a huge impact on the lives of our disabled beneficiaries. Jacqueline no longer needs to claim state benefits, so financial independence and raised aspirations has directly led to significant improvements in her personal life and that of her family.

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The Samee Charity 

881 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth,Dorset                      BH7 6AU

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