I finished college in 2014 and had been on Job Seekers’ Allowance for a nearly a year. In April 2015 my adviser suggested the programme.

I was shy and withdrawn and my life didn’t have a focus. I had been for loads of interviews before then and never heard anything back – I wasn’t feeling hopeful.

After attending a group interview and a one-to-one with Rachel and Diane, I received a phone call to tell me I had been successful in getting a place on the programme. It felt amazing.

I was a 100% attendee on the programme and by the end I was far more outgoing and couldn’t stop talking, thanks to all the support I received from the charity. I enjoyed all my placements, especially the Ramada Plaza Hotel. I got a job at the end of the programme, but the biggest change was that I started to draw again. I did a placement at Glyndwr University, who took me to their Art Department. Laura encouraged me to show them my drawings. After all these years of being told I can’t draw I found that people like what I do and people call it a talent!

The charity continued to support me when I finished the programme. I started my degree in September 2016 and I loved it: the work, the studying, and making new friends with similar passion for art. The programme has given me so many opportunities; doing things I would never have dreamed was possible.

We’ve done so many different things and I’ve learned lots of practical skills. I’m just a different person now.

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