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Gary’s Story

teenager boy smilingBefore I joined the Prince’s Trust Team programme I was living in Dover and things weren’t good. My life was at a low point, so I left and went to live with my auntie. I was unemployed, and I’d been looking for work, but wasn’t trying very hard. I got put in contact with CXK who introduced me to the Prince’s Trust Team programme, and they accepted me on the next Ashford programme.

It was daunting starting the programme. I didn’t know what to expect but it was an amazing experience. One of the best parts was the residential. The group all bonded really quickly and supported each other, and we really enjoyed the activities. While I was there, I decided that I’d really like to do the same kind of job as the instructors, so I asked one of them how I could get into it. He gave me the contact details of all the sites they have across the country, and suggested I approach them for work experience.

I got in touch with the Kingswood site in Ashford and arranged two weeks’ work experience during the programme. It went really well and when my team leader visited me during the work experience to see how it was going, they told her I was the best work experience person they’d ever had! When my work experience ended, they offered me an apprenticeship. I start in August, once I’ve turned 18, and it’ll take me a year to qualify as an Outdoor Activity Instructor.

“The programme has changed me. I’ve come such a long way with my confidence and my speaking. Before the programme, I couldn’t even make eye contact with anyone.”

Now, I know what I want to do, I have confidence, and I have an apprenticeship opportunity. None of that would have happened if I hadn’t done the programme.

If I had to give someone who is considering the programme any advice, I would say do it. It opens up so many opportunities for young people. Look at what it’s done for me.

For further information about the programme, including how to apply, click here. Alternatively, contact princestrustinfo@cxk.org or call 07843 287787.

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