1 August, 2019
Success stories: Harry
At the YST, we recognise that not everyone has the same start in life and might need a few chances to get on their feet.
Harry* is 18 years old, we met him about a year ago after he dropped out of college which he found to not be the right environment for him. He had previously been transferred from mainstream school to more specialist provision and had an Education Health Care Plan . At the time of our meeting him he had not been in education, employment or training for 12 months – he was becoming more and more isolated, was having sleep issues and lacked confidence and skills in many areas which would help him to lead a more fulfilling life.
When one of our NEET team practitioners, Maria Ralph, first met Harry, she discovered that one of the major barriers for him were his anxieties around using public transport. She worked with him to build confidence so that he felt able to undertake a programme of travel training with the county’s Independent Travel Training Scheme which provides one to one support to acquire the skills and confidence to travel independently. This was a great achievement for Harry who now regularly travels on the bus to see friends and access training and work opportunities.
Maria also arranged for Harry to work with our Activities team to help build confidence and learn some new skills. Harry worked on a programme of mountain biking, bush crafts and tried his hand at spoon carving. Steve Jones, Activity Team workers said,
He was a very polite young person who fully engaged in the activities. He loved the spoon carving which was amazing as he himself admitted he lacked concentration yet to go through the process of cutting a branch and carving a spoon took 3 sessions of our time so he persevered and had full concentration on this one project”.
Soon after this, he felt ready to attend an interview for a traineeship that was being run by the National Star College from our Whaddon centre. Harry was successful at interview and accepted a place on the course which focused on achieving qualifications in maths and English, soft skills around confidence and communication .Harry found himself to be a very popular member of the group both with staff and peers and did well on the course.
Meanwhile Maria had been organising other opportunities for him to challenge himself and build skills and confidence. He recently completed a charity bag packing activity at a local supermarket, raising money for Clic Sargant. Maria said,
He was very nervous about doing the bag packing – it was a big thing for him with all the noise and the people – but he was great, and we were both very proud of him”.
The first work placement that was organised for him didn’t work out too well, but he has been working with a job coach from the traineeship to visit places with his CV and recently completed a shift at a restaurant which may end up in more permanent employment. He has recently passed his theory test and hopes to take his driving test in the very near future.
As Harry is 18 we won’t be able to work with him for much longer but are working hard to get more support in place for him – collaborative working is one of our core values and it is this that has enabled us to tailor a package around Harry’s complex needs to help him to transform his life.
The team at Whaddon were very supportive and they helped me improve my confidence”.
The activities we provide aim to enable young people to build confidence, learn new skills and gain an understanding of what work entails. You can find out more about our work here >.
* Name changed to protect identity.