I was unemployed and had been for a while. I had always struggled with my education. When I finished school, I went to college and studied employability training, but was struggling to get through course. So I left and went to another college where I did two years of mechanics course. Then I went to yet another college and did a one year public services course, and after that I tried to find a job. I wasn’t successful, so I tried construction training, but I didn’t like it – it was boring and I didn’t feel welcome on the course. So I decided that working in construction wasn’t what I wanted to do.
I was signed on at the Job Centre and they made me aware of the Prince’s Trust Team programme. So I got in touch, had an interview about joining, and joined the next team in early 2019.
I enjoyed the residential trip the most because we all worked as a team. Some people had fears of heights so we had to help boost their confidence and help them conquer their fears. I’m scared of heights so doing some of the activities gave me a real sense of achievement.
The work experience was great. I spent two weeks at a local pub as a bartender – doing tasks such as serving customers, glass collecting and sorting out the dishwasher. I was worried about dealing with money and the maths involved but I overcame that. Quickly I felt like I really fitted in, I enjoyed the work, and I learned that my strengths are that I’m a hard worker and good at communicating. I got really good feedback from the employer, and they’ve offered me work during their busier period in September, once the programme has finished.
“I gained so much from the programme. When I first joined, I was shy. The programme helped me to make new friends – now we’re one big group and I think we’ll stay friends.”
When I joined I didn’t know I had any skills and wasn’t confident I could pass. The course helped me build confidence in myself, build skills and understand what skills I have.
I now know that my skills are confidence, communication, leadership, teamwork and reliability. All of those skills are valuable and ones I can take into a job.
If I had to give advice to someone in the same position as I was, I would say that the Prince’s Trust Team programme is one of the best courses available.
You build so many skills, and it has the best teachers who help young people who suffer from mental health and have suffered in education, like I did. When you don’t feel like you’ve got self-worth you can build your confidence and find and build your strengths. You work on your weaknesses and make those into strengths. In the end you end up ready for work.