For 2 years I had been suffering with my mental health, but it didn’t stop me from trying to do my best at school. I hit a real low during Christmas last year, and found myself often alone in my flat, with no friends or family. I was told about the WeMindTheGap opportunity by my Leaving Care PA and she thought it would be ideal for me.

After attending a Discovery Day, I was offered a place on the WeMindTheGap programme. The first few weeks were hard, we really had to step out of our comfort zones, I met my coach Rachel and started to talk about my future. I found it hard in the group to voice my opinion, but Rachel really helped me. My Skipper and First Mate looked after me all the way and I began to trust them. My work placements were good, varied and got me into a routine. I had the chance to do more Literacy and Numeracy, but I found I was well ahead, which got me thinking about what I could do with my qualifications. I began to realise I didn’t have to stay in Manchester forever, even though I had not been anywhere else.

After applying for a place on Operation Raleigh to do voluntary work and reaching the next stages of the assessment process, I was told soon after that I had been accepted! Everyone was so pleased for me and I was so proud of myself.

I graduated on August 1st and felt proud of my achievements. My next phase was WeBelong, where I would continue to have coaching, support and contact with the other graduates. I don’t think I could have done this on my own without the support of my Skipper, First Mate and Coach. I’ve done 5 placements in completely different employer situations. I’ve learnt some great skills for life and most importantly I’ve learned about me, about what’s out there and what I can achieve when I am positive and stay focused.

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