When Natalie joined the Prince’s Trust Team programme her severe shyness prevented her from taking part in activities for fear of being judged. Natalie struggled to arrive for the course on time and battled against severe dyslexia. She was unemployed at the time and hesitant to re-join the labour market. She felt the odds were stacked against her.
As Natalie’s confidence grew during the course, she regularly pushed the limits of her comfort zone and worked extremely hard to succeed. She took part in fundraising activities and even approached local companies for donations to complete a community project.
Natalie said: “Being on the Team programme has opened my eyes and helped me so much, everyone takes something different out of the programme. Before I went on the Team programme I had found myself in an unhealthy relationship. I found myself in huge debt, I lost my job and by the end of the three years, my self esteem and confidence were completely broken.
“The programme helped me meet new people and gain confidence.
It helped improve my self-esteem, allowed me to trust people again and helped me learn a new skill. I developed my communications skills, worked as part of a team, improved leadership and time keeping.”
Natalie has always wanted to be a lifeguard, and as part of the Team programme she completed a two week work experience placement at Five Rivers Leisure Centre. She really impressed her colleagues and received a great reference. This increased her determination to enter the profession. She also gained superb feedback from a mock interview and really tried to use this constructively to develop, which isn’t an easy task for someone who sees everything in a negative light.
Natalie continues: “I’m now working as a lifeguard now and I love it. I work with an amazing team of people who made me feel very welcome and I’m loving life. I’m glad I went on the Team programme and would recommend it to anyone.”
Natalie is now earning money doing what she loves and paying off her debts. She’s living proof that you can aim high and achieve your goals!
Her assistant team leader said: “When I first met Natalie she had been by far the least confident young person that I have met, she could not maintain eye contact and she felt nervous to be around groups of people. But Natalie has come a very long way from the Natalie we first met; she now has that confidence to actually do something about where she wants to go in life and she has grown in confidence and self-esteem. I wish Natalie all the luck in the world.”
Penny recently completed The Learning Curve Trowbridge Prince’s Trust Team programme and has since gone on to start a job that she is really enjoying. The Team programme is a 12-week personal development programme which aims to increase confidence, motivation and skills and as a result enable young people to move into employment. Here Penny tells us her learning journey:
“Before starting this course I found myself stuck in a rut; I had become very low and lost all my confidence and self-worth. I have two little toddlers which as you can imagine take up a lot of time and I was spending everyday with them, and doing things for them so that I became ‘just’ a mum. When I looked into the Team programme I got really excited and I was looking forward to doing something for myself again.”
“One of best parts of the course was the residential trip; the idea of spending a week staying on Dartmoor together with random people was really exciting and it was an absolute blast the entire time. We did so many activities and to name a few we did canoeing, rock climbing, abseiling and many more. It was the break that I needed but I did miss my children.
For our Community Project we decided to build an obstacle course at Jubilee Woods; we had to fundraise and organise the project and the two weeks we spent building the obstacle course were brilliant! It was hard work, rained a lot and was extremely muddy but by the time we had finished it, it was something we could all be proud of. I am really looking forward to taking my children there when they are older.
I did my 2 weeks work experience with Trowbridge Town Council; I absolutely loved working there and it must have shown as I was offered work in 3 different departments which is more than I could ever have hoped to achieve.”
What made a difference to your learning journey?
“Craig and Joe (Team leaders) helped by giving me the confidence to get back into work. These guys have been a laugh a minute; they have continuously kept spirits high with their humour and banter but on a serious note they are a credit to The Learning Curve and the Prince’s Trust.
I would like to say a massive thank you to The Learning Curve for funding my child care costs so that I could do the course and to all my family members who also helped out. Throughout this course there has not been a day where I don’t think I have laughed to the point I’ve cried, I don’t think I’ve ever shed so many happy tears.”
How has the course helped you?
“Looking back over the course there have been many moments where I have made big achievements, for one I have my confidence and self-worth back which is the reason why I wanted to go on the course in the first place. Another achievement is that I have been welcomed into the Trowbridge Town Council team and I’m working with some amazing people.
I now have a more positive outlook and I’m happier, so my children are happier. I am also doing something for myself and making my children proud.”
Seb joined The Learning Curve as a Work Programme client and he quickly enrolled on our Prince’s Trust Team programme in Trowbridge. Whilst on the 12 week Team programme Seb gained new skills and qualifications, made new friends, improved his job searching skills, developed his CV and made a real difference to his community through a 2 week Community Project and a 1 week Team Challenge. With the support of his adviser and Team Leader Seb successfully applied for a job with a local employer.
How did you find out about the course? I found out about The Prince’s Trust Team programme from my Work programme advisor and I thought it was a good idea to go on the course to help me gain more employability skills. I also thought I had nothing to lose by attending.
What did you enjoy about the course? It helped me gain structure to my day. I enjoyed the everyday shenanigans like the getting to know each other through games, challenges and activities. This course helped me talk to more people and gain more confidence.
What support did you receive during the course? The Team Leader provided great support and the one to one talks at the end of each fortnight helped me get through the course.
What did you gain from attending the course?Before starting the course, I was stuck in a regular pattern of sitting at home, applying for jobs and waiting for the “no thanks” letters to arrive. Now I feel I have gained more people skills and a good reference to put on my CV. I have also ended up getting a job that I enjoy.
Has the course influenced your decisions for the future? I had originally had an idea of what I wanted to do but the Team programme helped me get the first steps to employment.
What advice would you give to others considering coming on this course? I would say just do it as it will help you gain more employability skills and you can make great friends.
What are you intending to do next? I am continuing to work hard and gain more skills to add to my CV.