Aug 25, 2016

How Natalie changed her life with your support

Living like a prisoner in her own flat, Natalie faced verbal abuse, bullying at school, and had been the main carer for her mum, who had a physical disability and mental health issues, since she was 12.

Feeling unable to leave her mum, Natalie attended just two years secondary education and eventually became depressed.

Natalie says: "I was unemployed for five years. I had no aspirations and goals for myself, only for my mum. I always said all I wanted was a garden and a safe place for my mum to live."

A young carers' group provide Natalie with a lifeline. She shared her experiences and feelings of isolation and was referred to Fairbridge, a Prince's Trust programme that gives disadvantaged young people the tools they need to change their lives for the better.

 Supported by Fairbridge staff, Natalie drew up a list of priorities that would help her turn her situation around and, one-by-one, she began working her way through them. It resulted in her finding more suitable housing for her mum, attending one-to-one sessions to rebuild her confidence, and developing a new set of friends.

When Fairbridge ended, Natalie took part in Get Started with Art, another Prince's Trust programme that helps build confidence and develop skills. It saw her learn to let go and allow Social Services to provide more care for her mum. it also uncovered Natalie's flair for art. She then enrolled on The Prince's Trust Enterprise programme, which helps unemployed young people start up in business, and set up A Paper Crafted Dream, which offers bespoke glass etchings, vinyls and papercuts.

Natalie says: "I can't believe how different my life is. The Prince's Trust has helped me take control of my life and now that my mum's in good hands, I feel like I can do my own thing and be happy."

Jun 2, 2016

Alex's success story - thanks to your support

Only starting mainstream school at the age of 7 after being home tutored, it was decided that Alex would move to a Special Needs School at the age of 11 as he was aware that because of his autistic traits he was different and struggled socially.

Alex thrived in the small classes at his new school and his confidence blossomed and he left 6th form and college with good qualifications. 

Due to Alex's stammer, which is heightened in stressful social situations and his autism, things such as interviews, team work and receptive comprehension became a real challenge that held him back.

As a result, two years passed during which he failed to gain employment – this became very de-motivating for him and as his natural inclination is to be solitary it became a daily battle to get him out of the house, away from his computer and his I pad and to engage with society and become involved with activities with other people.

Alex was eventually referred to our Get into Logistics programme which helps unemployed young people find a job in that industry. With support for his disability provided by staff from The Trust, Alex soon felt comfortable and took advantage of the opportunity to integrate with others and learn about the operations at DHL. 

With his confidence growing he became more independent, taking more decisions for himself and at the end of the course, he was offered a role in the operations department where he currently works.

“If The Prince's Trust had not helped me I would not have a job. I would be playing XBox in my bedroom because that’s what I like to do. Even though I have to get up at 5 in the morning, I am happy because I finish at 2 and I am earning money and am more independent – this is because I had the help from DHL and from The Prince’s Trust.”

Mar 4, 2016

Grace's success story - thanks to your support

Grace was keen to have a fresh start after her rebellious teenage years. She started her business journey on our Enterprise course, and now has her own successful high street salon.

A rebellious streak in her teenage years saw Grace getting involved with the wrong crowd, dropping out of school and leaving home at the age of 15.

A year later she was taking drugs, and suffered physical and verbal abuse. At the age of 17, Grace, who also has Tourettes Syndrome, became pregnant and felt despondent about her future.

Showing great courage and determination, she got herself clean from drugs, reconciled with her parents, gained her GCSEs while a single parent and put herself through college to gain NVQ qualifications in beauty therapy and nail technology. While claiming benefits she heard about our Enterprise programme, which helps unemployed young people to start up in business, and soon opened her high street salon.

Although she felt limited by her lack of business knowledge and experience, she worked closely with her mentor on areas such as sales, marketing, pricing, accounts and customer service, while ongoing monthly meetings have given her the confidence to build up a successful business that made over £30,000 profit in its second year, now employs four staff members and has a regular client base of over 1,000 people.

“There is no doubt that the Enterprise programme was the turning point in my life. I didn’t want to be just a young single mother relying on benefits and had always wanted to make a go of running my own business but had no idea how to go about it.”

"Now, thanks to the support of The Prince’s Trust, I am a good role model for my son, am doing something I really enjoy and have a life that is full of great things."

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