I first heard about the Prince’s Trust Team programme when I went to an open day at CXK’s offices. I joined the Ashford programme in January 2019.
After finishing college, I had got a job in a nursery where I worked for a few years. Unfortunately I ended up having to leave the job due to ill health, and when I was better I struggled to find work again. By the time I joined the Prince’s Trust Team programme, I was 25.
“It was the best 12 weeks of my life”
I didn’t think I would get many benefits from it, to be honest, or that it would change my life in any way. I just did it to tick a box to say I’d done it. But looking back it was the best 12 weeks of my life.
Every week I took something from the programme that will benefit me. I built so much confidence as I had to do everything myself. I developed the ability to speak to people, which was a huge change for me. Before the programme I wouldn’t go anywhere without my mum. It was a big learning curve. On the programme, if things started to go wrong and I couldn’t get control of it, it was horrible. My mentors really helped me to manage that, to learn to get over things going wrong. They’d let me get worked up and then speak to me rationally, and with their help I learned to take control. I learned that I’m actually a very independent person and I can do things if I set my mind to it.
The programme also enabled me to build a strong support network and friendships. I met people in my team who I would have probably never met and become friends with otherwise. We’re all completely different but after 12 weeks together we’ve become friends for life.
“I learned that I’m actually a very independent person”
My favourite part of the programme was the work placement. I volunteered at Age UK which helped me to realise that I love working with people, and helping people. As a result my ambition is to work in youth work, ideally as a Prince’s Trust Team Leader.
After the programme I got a job working in the tea room at a college in Folkestone. As part of my job I run a drop-in session for students with learning difficulties who come into the café. I love it, and it’s great experience. My success and achievements on the programme and afterwards were recognised this summer when I was nominated to be a Prince’s Trust Ambassador. It’s a 15 month post that will involve me travelling all over the South and mentoring young people. It’s a real honour and I’m excited to be a part of promoting a programme that’s made such a difference to me.
I’ve now also started a volunteering position with the same Prince’s Trust team that I was part of at the start of the year. That will give me experience to pursue my ultimate dream – of becoming a Prince’s Trust Team Leader.
My future goals are to keep myself going in the right direction, take every opportunity with both hands and run with it.
The Prince’s Trust Team Programme is a 12 week course available to anyone living in Kent aged 16-25 and not in education, employment or training. Team gives you the chance to build your confidence, develop your Maths and English skills, gain valuable work experience, and get all of the advice and guidance you need to take the next steps towards finding a job. For further information, including how to apply, visit our Prince’s Trust Team Programme page.