Jemma’s Story

In 2017, I was about to start a college course to study Business Level 2 but was turned away at last stage. So I went straight onto benefits and tried to study online courses to help me get into work; I wanted to move into admin but I ended up being out of work for the next two years.

I found out about the Prince’s Trust Team programme through a friend. She had gone on the programme and it had helped build her confidence to get into work. I’d struggled with my confidence, and struggled to see the positives in life. I had spent 2 years sitting at home, job searching and getting let down all the time. It was never clear to me why I wasn’t successful, which made me feel even lower. I would ask myself “Why am I not employable?” as I was hardly getting any interviews.

“I learned I’m not the only one with mental health issues”

The most important part of the programme for me was meeting new people. I learned I’m not the only one with mental health issues. I have depression and anxiety, and it was good support to be around others who suffer the same way as me. That wasn’t something I had before. Being around new people has made me feel more upbeat and feel I can cope and achieve. There were also times when I could support others too.

I also really enjoyed the community project because it really brought us together as a team. It was a big achievement – we did it for ourselves and for others, and we really helped each other.

I have gained a lot from the programme. It built my confidence and I’ve made friends. I can now speak to strangers, which I could never have done before. The experience made me realise that I can do this, that I can achieve what I want to achieve. I don’t need to shut myself away, and I can be more positive.

“I can now communicate better”

Now I can talk about my feelings to anybody. I couldn’t talk to my mum properly before without getting really upset. Now I can express to her how I’m feeling. I can now communicate better, which helps my relationships and helps my mood.

Since finishing the programme I’ve begun a volunteering placement at Age UK – I did my work placement there and I loved it.  I’m hoping that might lead to a full time job in care work, where I can train on the job.

If I hadn’t taken part in the programme, I’d still be sitting at home doing nothing, still applying for jobs, and feeling down about myself and that I can’t cope.

The Prince’s Trust TeamProgramme is a 12 week course available to anyone living in Kent aged 16-25 and not in education, employment or training. The programme gives you the chance to build your confidence, develop 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, or moving into education. For further information, including how to apply, visit our Prince’s Trust Team Programme page.

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