About Essential Life Skills

Essential Life Skills offers a service to adults in the St Albans, Watford and Hemel Hempstead areas of Hertfordshire, UK.



Who are Essential Life Skills?

Essential Life Skills is a specialist support and training service set up in May 2014 to work with people with mental health needs.  The service is run by myself, Katherine Clark, and I work with individuals with a wide variety of needs

 
I am an experienced mental health worker with over 15 years' experience working with young people and adults with complex and enduring mental health needs.  I set up Essential Life Skills because I passionately believe that with the right tools and support individuals can lead lives which are both meaningful and fulfilling.  

 
When I work with someone I aim to put them in the driving seat and let them choose the frequency of the training sessions and the duration the support is required.  I am very happy to work with people on a regular basis or set up ad hoc sessions as the need arises.   
 
I have regular training to update my skills  and hold up to date insurance and a DBS check, which is available to view on request.  


What Does the Service Offer?

The service offers practical, hands-on support to help the individual develop their independent life skills.  I can work with people to improve skills managing the following areas of life. 

 

Paperwork – I can help you to sort and organise your paperwork into a filing system that works for you.  This can involve dealing with incoming post, identifying and dealing with junk mail, sifting papers and disposing of unnecessary documents in a secure way, completing routine paperwork and forms (excluding complex benefit application forms such as Disability Living Allowance, Employment Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payments).   

 

Developing healthy habits and routines – I can support you to build structure into your day and week, assist you in identifying and accessing activities which are meaningful and enjoyable to you, review and improve sleep and waking routines. 

 

Self Care Skills – I can assist you in improving the skills needed to take better care of yourself and improve personal hygiene, help you to access and engage with local services such as barbers/hairdressers, gyms, dental care and opticians.   


Home Care Skills – I can help you to develop the skills to better manage your home environment, use and maintain a vacuum cleaner, washing machine or launderette, help with basic cooking skills and kitchen hygiene awareness.  I have also experience working with people to declutter their living space and prepare to move home. 


Budgeting Skills – I can help to raise your awareness of your personal spending habits, support you and signpost you to specialist debt and benefit advice services, work with you to develop plans to help you curb excessive spending habits. 


Self Confidence and Assertiveness Skills – I can work with you to learn about how you can assertively express your needs and ask for help from others when it is required, plan for challenging situations and manage conflict.  I can also support you in building your confidence with particular situations, such as using public transport, attending meetings or appointments, shopping and accessing leisure facilities.  I signpost towards accredited counselling services where appropriate. 


Managing Stress and Maintaining Mental Wellbeing – I can help you to identify your personal stressors and the triggers that can make you feel unwell, create a plan for managing periods of unwellness or stress, plan for holidays or upcoming stressful events and assist you in identifying healthy strategies that can help you to cope more effectively with stress.  


If you have a specific goal you would like support in achieving then please feel free to discuss this in your initial assessment or when making contact.  Please note that while I am able to provide support with personal grooming, this does not include personal care.  My role will be to offer support, offer honest feedback and guidance on improving your level of personal grooming.  I am also happy to support an individual registering with specialist services, such as dentist, doctor or booking appointments with hair salons.  The overall goal of the service is to enable the individual and equip them with the skills and confidence they need to improve the quality of their life.

Who is this Service For?

The service is targeted at individuals who have needs in the following areas:

- Adults with mental health needs
- Adults with a High Functioning ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorders)/Aspergers
- Adults who are struggling with stress/stress related illnesses
- Students needing support to manage anxiety and exam nerves


How Can I Access This Support?

Either complete and return the referral form below or send me an email with some information about what kind of help you would need.  From this I will make contact and set up an initial meeting.  During this meeting I will carry out an initial assessment so as to establish your individual training needs.  This meeting will be informal and will usually take place at an outside venue, such as a coffee shop, or your home and will last approximately 1.5 hours.

Once the training needs have been established I will then work with the individual to draw up a training program. This program is usually made up of a series of  hour long sessions.  The progress will be reviewed at an agreed interval and the individual can then decide whether they would like to book a further sessions.

Referral Form


Essential Life Skills accepts both self referrals and referrals from healthcare professionals.  When making a referral please complete the referral form below.  To download our referral form just click on the icon at the bottom of this page.  The form is available as either a Microsoft Word document or as a PDF.  If you do not have access to a printer or would just prefer a paper copy to complete then just send an email or phone and one can be sent out by post.


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How Much Will This Service Cost?

Initial Assessment (approx 1.5hrs) - £15.00

One hour training sessions - £20.00

One hour Skype Session - £10.00


Sessions can also be prepaid in blocks of six and this plan comes at the discounted rate of £100.


I am also happy to accept referrals from individuals intending to use a personal budget or direct payment to pay for the service.  In these circumstances an initial assessment will be booked with both the individual and their care manager.  Once a training plan is agreed a costing schedule can be drawn up and the relevant service provider will be invoiced monthly for the duration of the training sessions.


A 15% discount is available to students who have an up to date student card.



Opening Hours


Mondays 10am - 4pm
Tuesday 10am - 4pm
Thursdays 10am - 4pm
Fridays 10am - 4pm

Sessions will usually be booked within these hours but if there is a particular difficulty which is best addressed outside of these hours there may be some flexibility. 

Essential Life Skills Privacy Policy


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