I started attending Bfree in year 7, aged 11. I’d first heard about it through friends, and my twin brother had started attending, and I then heard about it through the careers fair at school where the youth workers talked about it and so I decided to go. I remember walking through the door on day one and thinking it was a great place to hang out after school and I immediately felt safe there. It helped me make lots of friends, which was what I needed because I was really quiet at school.
I kept attending BFree and started to go to all the other projects too. The half-term social action project, ‘Making Good’, is one of my favourites where we help out in the community and do jobs that people need help doing. I also loved the ‘Into the Wild’ outdoor wilderness project, which partly involved climbing a mountain in Wales, it was the first time I’d climbed a mountain! It was so challenging and the weather was terrible, but it felt really good afterwards and getting to the top was amazing!
One of the most helpful things I have done with LYP is the one to one sessions at school. This was really helpful when I was being bullied at school, it supported me and gave me somewhere to talk about things, and helped me get things sorted out quickly with teachers. It also really helped me through my GCSE’s, giving me space to talk about any worries I had, as well as looking at practical things to help.
After leaving school I had no idea what I wanted to do and I really didn’t want to go to college. LYP helped me think about what I could do next and offered me a place on the AllSaints apprenticeship. I was so relieved to have a good thing to go into and didn’t have to worry anymore about not knowing what was next.
I have now been working at AllSaints for 2 months, and I absolutely love it! It has taught me a lot about working and has sometimes been difficult when it gets busy. Learning to communicate with the team under pressure has been really good practice!
One of the highlights of this year has been helping at the LYP Gala, I was part of the catering team but I also had to speak from the front about my journey with LYP. This was the first time I’d done any public speaking and although I want it to be the last I know it probably won’t be! This experience has massively helped me with my confidence, and I have noticed I am more confident at AllSaints with customers than I was before.