In May 2015, I was referred to the City Deal Programme at Wheatsheaf Trust in Southampton. It is designed to help and support people into short term paid work experience to help them gain experience, skills and to move forward into long term employment.
I am 31 years old and have never worked and I suffered badly with depression, low self esteem and severe anxiety. Shortly after joining City Deal, I also moved, which just added to the stress and meant I had to travel further to see my Adviser.
I wanted to remain engaged and move forward with my life and so I was never late or missed an appointment.
I completed a Choice’s course and had a lot of 1-1s with my Adviser, discussing my issues and concerns and how to manage them. After a while, my Adviser enrolled me onto an ITQ course to help develop my skills and I also completed a health living booklet as I was concerned about my weight.
Over time my confidence and self esteem increased, which according to my Adviser was obvious in both my appearance and communication.
In the past, I had volunteered in charity shops and enjoyed it, helping others and giving good customer service. At one stage I would have liked to be a doctor or a nurse as I wanted to contribute to society. So when an opportunity for a Receptionist came up at the General Hospital, my Adviser asked me if I would be interested.
We discussed what the role would involve and that there would be an initial meeting at the hospital to discuss it further.
My Adviser helped me with what questions I would be asked and how to answer them, my body language and first impressions. This was a big step for me, but I decided to go for it anyway.
Having researched the bus routes and timetable so I wouldn’t be late, off I went for my interview. I did really well because I was offered the opportunity, which has really boosted my confidence and self esteem.
“Through willingness to engage and take everything on offer, I have travelled a significant distance in a short time, which has really helped to boost my self esteem.”