Finding new heights thanks to the Sir Francis Chichester Fund

L was referred to #Focus5 after mental health needs left her unable to continue with post 16 education. With other support coming from CAMHS in Devon and the Insight Team at The Zone, L’s keyworker devised a plan to build her confidence and to help others by volunteering.

In order to make a real difference we need our young people to be motivated and ready to challenge themselves. L was a perfect example of this, she fully embraced our values and secured a voluntary position at Derriford hospital but that was just the start. Next, L applied for a place at the Sir Francis Chichester Trust, and was thrilled to be invited for an interview. Determined to make the right impression L and her keyworker went shopping for interview clothes and once she had got the right look, they both went for to L’s favourite café to practice interview techniques.

Success! L impressed in her interview and gained a place on the Outward Bound Course. The Sir Francis Chichester Trust provides funding for 16-19 year olds from Devon to attend these courses in different parts of the UK. The course is a big undertaking that gets young people out of the comfort zones and L was no exception. Her course was a full three weeks in Wales, away from her family and any home comforts but this wouldn’t be her main challenge. L knew she would have to meet her fear of heights head-on and was becoming increasingly anxious at the prospect of rock climbing in Wales. L’s keyworker took her to Plymouth Life Centre in order to get her some one-to-one rock-climbing sessions. With a little bit head-start on her fear of heights L set off to Wales.

After returning from her 3 weeks away, L met with her keyworker to talk about how her confidence had grown and she felt ready to go back into education. Feeling revitalised, L took another big step forward and applied for a Level 3 course at City College Plymouth. L was met with more success. City College Plymouth offered a place on her preferred course and she even has two part time jobs now.