The X Factor is renowned for it’s sob stories of it;s contestant, pulling at the heart strings of the nation, but we all have a sob story in us and I most certainly have.
Behind the cheery, happy and hyper persona of Jelly Jade, children’s entertainer, is a brave story that got me to where I am, to a position where I can help others, and to inspire my local area with hope.
It was literally Once Upon a Time, because it happened in a time that I have long since forgotten and I now live my happily ever after.
But the story began when I met my first husband, around 2003, when I was working as a manager at my local McDonalds and two years later we got married and had our son, Jacob.
We moved to Harold Hill and life was OK, I was happy in my latest job, as a supervisor for Virgin Megastore and Jacob was a happy and fun little man. But on his 1st birthday, my husband took a dark corner and for the next 2 years battled with drugs and alcohol abuse.
Social services became involved in our lives, and Jacob was put on the child protection register for neglect.
I was devastated and almost had my son taken from me, but I quit my job, and we moved to a Women’s refuge in Colchester for the next 5 months. I knew no one, I had to live on benefits and at one point we were homeless for one night, walking the cold streets with no where to sleep.
But, I was so lucky to be moved back to my home town of Havering and sitting on the floor of my council flat, I had no idea how I was going to fill it with furniture, how I would build our lives from scratch again and how I could support my son.
With an amazing support from family and friends, I got there eventually. I never borrowed money or asked friends for anything except for company and security for me and my son.
I started dating my now husband, and began to live a happy life, only for it to be tarnished again with the devastating news that my ex husband had passed away.
I had to break the news to Jacob, who was then 4 years old, and from that point he has always struggled with his emotions.
I think that was probably the worst thing I have ever had to do.
In 2012, we said hello to my second child, Matthew, and one month later I set up my party business!
It has been almost 6 years since I first face painted and since my first ever party!
I have built up a wonderful business that helps other parents and puts smiles on the faces of other children which, to me, is the best job in the world!
It is my way of saying thank you to the community for believing in me and giving something back that I wish I had had when I was in the worst of situations.
I am so proud to say I have been shortlisted for 4 business awards, with the latest being the Thurrock Business Awards, as Business Woman of the Year, which to me, is a reflection of how far I have come,
I never thought I would be involved in a world of darkness, things that happen to other people, and fighting for my son who I love so much. But you never know what life will throw at you and it is so important to make memories with our children, whether it is on holiday, or at a birthday party.
If you take anything from reading today’s blog, it should be this –
If you have a business idea, or you want to try a new hobby, if you are living in the worst circumstances or you are stuck in a rut, make goals, take action and change what you need to do to make it happen.
I needed the terrible shock in my life to make me realise that I can live a happy life, but I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
Sometimes, we need to help ourselves to make our own happiness.
Jelly Jade xx
I would like to thank my darling husband, Dean, who without him, I would never have found true love and happiness, and I most certainly wouldn’t have been able to run my business.
And to my two children, who have been through so much together but are just the most adorable, kind hearted and hilarious little men I have ever known.