"Before joining Young Gloucestershire I had been out of college for all of 2018 and it had a huge effect on my mental health, how I saw myself and the world in general.  However with the help of my Programme Leaders and also with support from The Link I now feel happy with who I am."

"Back in 2012, before joining secondary school, I was diagnosed with a genetic condition called 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. It was a particularly hard time for me and I was close to leaving education as I was also being bullied. During Year 10, in the space of seven months, my Grandmother and Step-Grandad passed away and this had a dramatic effect on my mental health and I began to self-harm."

"As time passed and with the help of counselling, I managed to stop self-harming and I enrolled in college in September 2017. However, after a few months this proved to be too hard to cope with and in December I decided to leave. As well as pulling out of college, my mum unfortunately fell ill and was diagnosed with secondary liver cancer."

"In the following April I decided to apply for the Prince’s Trust Team Programme and I was delighted when I was selected to join Team 192. But while I was on the programme things had got worse for my Mum. I started to feel depressed and started self-harming again and then I felt suicidal. In May 2018, I tried to end my life as I was really in a dark place mentally. But there was someone at Young Gloucestershire to support me and a small part of me knew there was hope. If that person wasn’t there for me I feel I wouldn’t be alive today."

"After completing the Prince’s Trust Team Programme, my plan was to finally go to enroll in college. My Mum began to feel better and I thought I was ready to commit to further education. But unfortunately a few months later, my Mum’s condition worsened again. After weeks of coming in and out of hospital, we unfortunately found out that the cancer she had in December, had returned. After being admitted to hospital again, she unfortunately passed away in October 2018.  This had a dramatic effect on me and my family and was really unexpected."

"As a result of my Mother’s passing, I had to re-evaluate my position. I had remembered that back in August I was offered the chance to do the next stage of the Prince’s Trust Team Programme – the Level 2. At first I was unsure but I didn’t want to sit around and do nothing, so I decided to apply. Within days I realised I had made the right decision."

"I made lots of new friends who some are still my friends to this day and I also gained a new Team Leader in Yaz. In addition to this I gained the role of Administration Manager for the team. While being on Level 2 I was also receiving 1:1 support from The Link and met up on a weekly basis to improve my mental wellbeing. I have to say that I am glad I signed up to Level 2 as it was much better than expected and I am sure that my Grandparents and my Mum would be really proud of everything that I have achieved."

"One day I would like to become a youth worker and support people in a place like The Link. I would like to positively help people in same way I have been helped. I have also plan to be musician and songwriter so watch this space!"