“I felt like I was trapped in a cycle, too old to access educational support, but too young to be considered experienced enough to employ.
“My health wasn’t great at school, I had really bad epilepsy and ended up being referred for hospital education. This really knocked my confidence and more than anything I felt everyone had given up on me. After a few years of not getting anywhere, I started to feel down and blamed myself.
“I had been attending YG’s ViParents group and the staff suggested mentoring to me. The idea of meeting someone who was impartial and only knew as much as I told them was really appealing. It was really liberating to meet someone who made me feel like we were on an equal playing field. Rob didn’t talk down to me, he didn’t have an ulterior motive and he wasn’t trying to put me into a box. I came to realise he just wanted to help, and that was why it worked so well.
“Our meetings took place in a relaxed environment which was really helpful. Rob listened to me and we had great conversations, conversations that I felt really involved in. We talked about my CV, how to present myself, my son and my life in general. We really got on and I felt I could talk about anything. It felt very natural. I didn’t even realise all the progress we were making, then all of a sudden everything fell into place. Rob helped me find a work placement and I did so well they offered me a job on the spot. I haven’t looked back since. I am so happy and life couldn’t be better.
“Mentoring offered me the confidence boost I needed. It helped me look at things from a different perspective and it’s all down to my mentor. He was a fantastic person to work with and I learnt so much.”