Hannah’s Story

Hannah came to YES in March 2020. At the time, Hannah was 16 and just about to leave school; COVID lockdowns had just begun, so we had to meet via video call.

Hannah was feeling anxious about her GCSE results and had not had a positive experience during year 11. She was really lacking confidence as a result of being bullied and she was convinced that she wouldn’t be able to keep up with the work at college or get any kind of employment going forward.

It was clear that being patient with Hannah was key. She is not only a shy and anxious young person but having to deal with the Covid lockdowns just as she was leaving school really impacted her confidence. To manage this, we made sure that she had an action plan with clear, concise next steps – a plan that Hannah had an active involvement in creating.

Hannah and I have had 10-15 appointments this year. Hannah had already secured a college place, so we developed her CV so she could apply for part-time work and focused on developing her interview skills and building her confidence. We looked at how to job search, talked about body language, and breathing techniques. Although we gave her some tools, Hannah’s perseverance and hard work paid off and made all the difference – she practiced mock interviews with her Mum and even another student friend of hers, as well as becoming proactive with emailing me and asking for further advice.

Hannah has had a really positive year. She maintained her college place, despite genuine concerns she may not be able to handle the workload. Her self-confidence has improved a great deal, which enables her to speak to her college tutor more freely about her needs. She has also secured a part-time job in a kitchen, which she’s over the moon about!

Hannah said: “YES have really helped me. They helped me with creating my CV and with interview techniques, breathing exercises and coping mechanisms which really helped me in my job interview. We worked work at my own pace so I could take time to understand everything properly. Now I’m still in college and have a part-time job – a year ago I wouldn’t have thought that was possible.”


The Youth Employability Service (YES) provides free, up to date, impartial information, advice and guidance to young people in East Sussex. Commissioned by East Sussex County Council, we work specifically with young people aged 16-19 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET), or are at risk of being NEET.

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