Mar 6, 2015

Amy's success story - thanks to your support

A difficult upbringing played havoc with Amy’s schooling, leaving her deeply suspicious of other people and depressed. The Prince’s Trust Team programme however was there to help her develop a new sense of trust, self-belief, and a positive outlook for the future.

From a very early age, life was very stressful for Amy, 19, from Wolverhampton. At five, she had the responsibility of looking after three younger siblings. Amy experienced abuse and by the time she entered care at seven, she had not attended more than a few weeks of school.

She was diagnosed with ADHD – this combined with her difficult childhood made life very difficult and Amy struggled at school. Through her teenage years she also became depressed which had a huge impact on her outlook on life and the future. Prior to joining The Prince’s Trust Team programme, which helps young people gain the skills and confidence to find work, she was feeling extremely pessimistic about her future.

Disengaged, and reluctant to get involved in any meaningful way with others, Amy made a slow start on the Team programme, but over the following 12 weeks she made remarkable progress.

Experience had taught her to be wary of people, so learning to trust others was vital. At first, Amy would look for any opportunity to be confrontational, but programme staff helped her develop techniques to stop and think before reacting to others. She was given responsibility to run sessions and help support members of the group, which put her new skills to the test and took her well out of her comfort zone. Finding that she could cope with these situations gave her confidence a big boost.

Since completing the programme, Amy feels much happier with life and is cautiously optimistic. She has been volunteering three days a week for The Prince’s Trust, and spends the other two days taking classes to improve her English and maths. Longer term, she aspires to work with young people, giving them the support like she has received from The Prince’s Trust.

Nov 28, 2014

Shannon's success story - thanks to your support

Shannon, 17, from St. Saviour, Jersey, lost her sense of worth when her academic abilities hindered her GCSE choices. Since taking part in a Prince's Trust programme, Shannon is persuing further education and working in a job she thought she'd never have the courage to do.

Shannon has always had a positive outlook on life even though she struggled with learning, but when her academic performance restricted the subjects she could take for her GCSEs, everything changed; Shannon withdrew, her self-esteem plummeted and she began failing in core subjects.

"It wasn't that I didn't want to learn, I just found it very, very hard. Sport was the only thing I was really good at, and when I couldn't take PE for GCSE because of my other grades, it made me feel like I was being punished for not being clever enough."

Shannon developed a negative attitude towards school and was referred to an xl club, a Prince's Trust programme that helps motivate young people who are struggling at school.

During xl, Shannon drew on her sports skills and demonstrated talent as a team leader and motivator. Realising that the talents she'd always had could be applied to other aspects of her life, Shannon's confidence grew; she felt more comfortable taking part in group discussions and presentations at school and her xl club. She also took pride in her work, and subsequently felt confident enough to take her GCSE maths.

Shannon's new attitute has had a fantastic impact on her life. She now recognises her educational needs, is happy to talk about them, and wants to keep learning. She has applied for a college course, and has overcome her shyness in order to work part-time in a customer-facing job in a cafe. 

"Im proof that the xl programme works. Because of xl, I'm happier, more confident, in a job I never thought I'd be able to do, and am about to make lots of new friends at college!"

Aug 29, 2014

Charlie Burley's Story

Brighton-based Charlie’s difficult childhood led to homelessness before she found sheltered accommodation. She joined the Team programme and has since enrolled on an Open University course.

At 15, Brighton-based Charlie’s difficult childhood had led to homelessness and an erratic lifestyle sofa-surfing with friends, before she found sheltered accommodation at her local YMCA. Charlie struggled at school, leaving with only one GCSE. Turning to drug misuse she later suffered crippling mental health issues.

She then joined The Prince’s Trust Team programme, delivered by City College Brighton, which helps disadvantaged young people gain the skills and confidence they need to turn their lives around.

An initial setback prompted voluntary relocation to another Team programme and meant integration became even harder for this shy young woman. But so successful was her time on the course that Charlie became one of the strongest Team members and was often asked for guidance by her peers.

With aspirations to work in teaching it was with increased confidence gained with support from The Trust that she found work-placement at a local college for disabled children. Charlie says: “Meeting people more disadvantaged than myself made me realise I didn’t want to ruin my life.”

Thanks to this support, she secured an apprenticeship with her local Job Centre where she is often required to deliver presentations about The Prince’s Trust.

“I enjoyed the public training workshop and feel more confident about talking in front of people now,” she said of the Team programme.

Charlie is well on the road to developing a successful career and due to start an Open University course to enhance her progression.

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