I became known to Social services at the age of 10 when my Mum’s mental health deteriorated, and I began to miss school. I was in and out of care until I was 16 and felt frustrated at the lack of care for my mum and my inability to look after her. From the age of 16 I found myself unemployed and fed up after my contract at Wrexham Council came to an end.

In 2014 I applied for the programme, but looking back now I wasn’t ready at all. I didn’t want to listen to advice and was probably quite scary. I received a goody bag and a hand written letter from Rachel and Diane. They suggested ways that I could perhaps be the perfect candidate in 2015…

By 2015 I had a much better attitude; I was more mature. I was so pleased when they phoned me and said I was offered a place. It was scary meeting everyone for the first time but the team made us feel so welcome. Experiencing so many different things through the programme and trying different jobs has really helped me to find out what I want to do in the future. The induction course, Launchpad, which we did over three days, was a real turning point for me. It has given me a whole different mindset in terms of how to turn negative feelings around.

We’ve done things we would never have dreamt of doing – skiing, white water rafting, spending so much time with people we had never met before. If I’d have been told six-months ago I would have done all the things I have, I never would have believed it. I feel so much more positive and confident. Our Skippers and First Mates were so suited to each of us and were the `pick me up’ we all needed at times. Somehow they seemed to be able to turn a bad day into a good one. It’s been like having a new best friend. Everyone at the charity just ‘gets it’.

I started working as an Administrative Assistant for Morton & Jones Fencing in Wrexham in November 2014. I remained there to receive training in HR. I have been on holiday abroad, passed my driving test but most importantly, I am now officially responsible for my mum’s care. I feel in control.

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