We are really inspired by a young lady who is building confidence, recognising her strengths and self-worth and making plans for the future thanks to #Focus5.
This young lady was originally referred to the project because she had experienced a tough time at school, she was struggling with high levels of anxiety and lacked an education or employment pathway.
She needed support with social and emotional difficulties and was so anxious initially that she struggled to leave the house, travelling everywhere with her mum and finding meeting new people very difficult. Her mum took her along to a group locally that was being arranged by a #Focus5 key worker to find out more about the project but at the time she found it too overwhelming. She had a panic attack and had to go home.
However, the #Focus5 key worker persevered and took a slow and steady approach to offering support so that eventually she agreed to join the project. Through activities such as; getting out of the house, going for walks, writing a CV and doing mock interviews, she has really grown in confidence. She has also improved the way she manages her anxiety through medication and is developing all the #Focus5 skills through volunteering at her local Scouts and a local primary school (accompanied by her mum).
Her key worker helped her to visualise all the skills and talents she has that may be of interest to future employers. For example, she is absolutely incredible at maths and she is volunteering in a treasurer capacity with her mum at the local primary school. She is also an amazing self taught artist, producing stunning pencil drawings at home which, with the help of her key worker, she now realises she could develop into a future business. Sometimes young people have such a bad experience in the school system that they come out severely lacking in confidence, without the ability to believe in themselves or recognise their own strengths.
She has had the courage to meet with a mentor at Young Devon where she will be spending some time looking at skills, making plans and exploring aspirations. Her mentor hopes she will move onto a 12 week work based learning course which will provide her with an English qualification and teach lots of skills to get back into education or employment. This is delivered in small groups of up to 12 people, all of whom have similar challenges, and it is a very different atmosphere to school!
This young person is such a joy to spend time with, despite being very anxious she is growing into a confident individual who wants to bring out the best in herself and follow her dreams. She hopes to become a tattoo artist and own her own studio. With so much artistic talent we don't think she can go far wrong!