Michelle was a regular in The Drop-In because her mates hung around here. She’d left school with a handful of GCSEs and went to College but with no aspirations or ideas of what she wanted to do in the future. Her home life is difficult – she lives between different family member’s homes. She has body image issues and this had manifested itself into an eating disorder. She got most of her worth from her boyfriend and his friends.

Things at college didn’t work out, she was easily distracted, her attendance was low and she failed to complete assignments. She was ‘asked to leave’ the course, but the student welfare officer suggested she talk to us about studying here. Despite coming to The Door most days, it took Michelle nearly 2 weeks to pluck up the courage to talk to James about training, James introduced her to Barrie and they met briefly and talked through her options. In December she started on a trial timetable, having a go at a few vocational subjects whilst also doing the employability elements of the Level 2 Work Preparation course. From January she settled into a pattern working towards the Creative Industries stream of the qualification.

As at college, her attendance and motivation for the work was low, but we saw that she was growing in her confidence and self-esteem. When she broke up with her boyfriend she handled things with resilience and being part of the ‘Hope family’ helped her cope well.

In early May, she started to take a real interest in the employability work, and began to work on her CV, job application and interview skills. With a good quality CV produced, she spent an afternoon taking it into local shops, and got an interview. We spent the morning before her interview working on skills and techniques, as well as researching the company. James walked her to the interview itself (she later said she would have walked straight past if he hadn’t been with her). She got the part time job, and started work a week later.

Michelle now feels ready to move on, and its unlikely she will be with us in September. It is also unlikely that she will finish her qualification. However she has grown so much in such a short period of time, and is now in employment – these are 2 great outcomes for her, and for us.

Michelle’s Story