17-year-old Liam* had been out of education for two years. As a young carer, responsibilities at home had made it difficult to think about the future. He suffered from low confidence and anxiety, rarely leaving his local area. Attending college or gaining a job seemed out of reach.
Liam’s social worker was concerned by the length of time he’d spent out of education, so got in touch with Inspire! for support. Inspire! introduced a mentor who he met with each week, yet he made limited progress towards securing work or training. We recognised a need for a more intensive programme for young people like Liam.
New funding enabled us to launch Inspired Futures. Combining mentoring, skills workshops, and ongoing support helped 16 young people find and prepare for work or college.
Liam’s mentor introduced techniques to reduce anxiety, and encouraged him to think about his future ambitions. He expressed an interest in film, so his mentor discovered a film course run by The Prince’s Trust at The British Film Institute. Although the journey to Southbank felt a long way from home, she helped him to overcome travel nerves. On the course, Liam wrote and produced a short film with other young people, showing it to an audience at the end of the week.
Following this boost in confidence, Liam was encouraged to apply to a local college to study creative media. After visiting the college with his mentor and practicing for interviews, he was successful in gaining a place on the course.
“Mentoring has really helped me” said Liam “My confidence was very low and I didn’t like myself very much. Meeting my mentor regularly in her office or the library helped me get used to new people and environments. It made it easier for me to apply for college. My mentor encouraged me to try new things like the Prince’s Trust course which gave me a really big boost.”
Liam began the course in September and has already settled in and made new friends. His Inspire! mentor continues to visit to ensure he is on track for a positive future.
About Inspired Futures
Inspired Futures helps vulnerable young people prepare for education, employment or training.
With the help of local schools and Hackney Council, we identified 16-19 year olds who were out of, or soon to be leaving, education. This included students with special educational needs and disabilities, care leavers, and young people known to social services.
Inspire! provided tailored support to young people with different needs, aspirations and abilities. Our mentors included a youth worker, trainee child therapist and qualified teacher.
Visit our Additional Needs page to find out how we help young people who need extra support to succeed.
*Names have been changed for confidentiality
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