It was the summer and I didn’t know what I would be doing in September. I had been in and out of education over 6 months due to issues with other students. I’d been struggling with the course work and didn’t have any friends in school. I only talked to tutors and wouldn’t eat during lunch times as I would have to sit with other students in school. Since I didn’t understand any of my subjects and was told that I would leave school with no qualifications. I often hid in toilets to miss lessons and no one ever came to find me.
Before I met Bal, my support worker with CXK’s NEET Support Service, I was working with social services, Early Help and CAMHS because of my severe anxiety and depression, which had led onto self-harming. I was unemployed, sitting at home with no friends.
“CXK’s NEET Support Service has helped me so much”
When I first met Bal I thought she was nice and I liked her blue hair. I went to the appointment with my mum as I wouldn’t have gone on my own. Bal told me about local training providers and advised that I needed some qualifications, at least functional skills, in order to progress. I really didn’t know what career I wanted but knew I did need Maths & English qualifications. Mum and I told Bal that I loved to sing and loved music, so Bal suggested an informal visit to Supajam, a music college in Swanley. I went to visit them, and mum and I loved it.
CXK’s NEET Support Service has helped me so much. I have managed to remain in full time education for 2 years with only 1 day off. I have completed Level 1 & 2 Music Practitioner courses and have gained qualifications! I’ve just started my Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma for Music Practitioners (QCF) course at Supajam, and I plan to have a career within the music industry.
Bal has continued to support me. She catches up with me each time she visits Supajam or attends our festivals in Tunbridge Wells. My mum and dad think Bal is great. Each time mum has met Bal, she has cried (with joy!). She thanks Bal all the time for everything that she did.
“My self-esteem and confidence is so much better”
When I first met Bal, I was covered up in black clothing. I didn’t make any effort with my appearance, and didn’t make eye contact as I was in a dark place. I had my head shaved and coloured – I just didn’t care.
2 years on, my health has improved and I am no longer working with any other agencies such as CAHMS, Early Help or Social Services. I no longer self-harm and take pride in my appearance. I wear make up on a daily basis and colourful, girlie clothes. My self-esteem and confidence is so much better. My hair is now long, brown and healthy, and I recently performed on stage at the Black Deer Festival to over 10,000 people!
CXK’s NEET Support Service is a career counselling and guidance service designed to help NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) 16-18 year olds move into education, employment or training.