Ladies, Gentlemen, boys & girls and everyone else in between; I have an announcement to make!
With my Team Leaders (Kelly & Mel)’s permission, I have been allowed to proudly announce I’ve signed up to The Prince’s Trust and that I can blog about it too!
For those of you who don’t know what The Prince’s Trust is, allow me to elaborate.
The Prince’s Trust was set up by our very own Prince Charles in 1976 to help those who are unemployed or struggling with school between the ages of 13-30 years old in order to make a difference to each individual by helping them to prosper.
The charity provides various training programmes, mentors to help advise and they even give financial grants to help young people set up their own businesses.
Last year, they helped 56,000 young people get into employment, education, training or volunteering.
The programme I am about to start is called Team led by two Team Leaders (Kelly & Mel) and each team is made up of 12-15 people all with different skillsets and backgrounds. Our Team is called Team 125.
It doesn’t matter where you come from or what has happened in your life; everyone is accepted here with open arms.
I’ll get onto a bit about my background a little later on.
Right now, I want to tell you about all the exciting stuff that the whole team will be getting up to over the next 12 weeks (or 3 months – if that’s your preference).
In the taster session next week and in the first week everyone will meet each other. Personally, I can’t wait for this! Everyone is in the same boat; we’re all terrified at first but the team-building exercises will provide us with some much needed icebreakers.
In week 1 (commencing 27th March 2017), will see us set out what it is that we want to achieve and what our goals are. As I’ve not met the rest of the Team just yet, so I cannot speak for them. But my ambition is simple: I want to write novels that people enjoy reading for a living. How I go about doing this is still a work in progress at the moment, so if anyone reading this has any suggestions I am happy to listen to them.
Then there are the qualifications that we’ll gain at the end of the program. The best things about the Prince’s Trust qualification (Employability, Communication & Teamwork) is that it is a nationally recognised award and an award which only a small percentage of the UK population have. Their award is aptly named because they are the most important qualities companies want in their employees. There is also Food Safety which is to do with the residential trip (I’ll get onto that in a bit) and something I’m looking forwards to getting because I love cooking. And finally, there’s First Aid which is useful should anyone I ever come across, be in need of help.
We’ll also be planning for our residential trip during our first week which will take place the week after.
In Week 2, the residential trip is designed to get people out of their comfort zones, to have fun, try new things, and learn how to work with others . We could be doing canoeing, abseiling, or building a raft- so anything that involves getting outside and doing things we wouldn’t normally do.
In weeks 3 to 6, we’ll begin our first local community project of our choosing and we’ll have just three weeks to completely finish it. Again, it’s a team-building team-player project, so it will be useful in having something to talk about in interviews. It will also be useful for us to discuss at length the planning, fundraising, financing, and the roles we’ll have in the team.
In weeks 7 to 8, we’ll be on work placements and get first-hand experience of a work environment at a workplace of our choosing. It will also be a good opportunity for us to put all the skills we have learnt thus far in the programme to use. It will also be good experience for us to see whether the environment that we will be working in is something that we enjoy and thrive in. Not to mention brilliant to put on our CVs (curriculum vitae or resume).
In week 9, this is the prime chance for us to work on our next steps in terms of where we want to go next and plan for a range of potential futures. There will be chance for us to work on our CVs and mock interviews in which to practice our and learn new interview techniques.
In weeks 10 to 11, this is also another community project but focused towards a challenging activity to help others. It’s designed to test the metal of all the Teams taking part and will have to be finished by the end of week 11. Again, a great opportunity to practice all the skills we have learnt.
In week 12 (final week of the programme), we’ll be delivering presentations to both friends, family, potential employers and Prince’s Trust staff at a venue of our choosing. It will detail everything that we have done, the skills & confidence we have gained and what we intend to do after the programme ends.
The presentation is the only thing in this list which I find quite unnerving at the moment but we shall see, perhaps we all will be pleasantly surprised about how far we’ve come by the time we’ve reached the end. I’m predicting the end will be bittersweet.
Seven months ago, I wasn’t completely confident in myself at all. I had graduated from university July 2015 and had repeatedly been knocked back because of a lack of experience in the workplace. I felt demoralised and embarrassed of my achievements. My confidence took a massive nosedive, but let’s not dwell on that because this is meant to be a happy place! Ever since then, I’ve had to take deep breaths put one foot in front of the other and make decisions I never thought I’d have the guts to carry out. It’s been a lengthy process for me to have even got here, so I’m already proud and amazed at what I have achieved thus far. Everything else from here on in will be a bonus.
All of that being said, I couldn’t have done any of it without the help of the Sue Ryder Harborne team (there’s too many to namedrop but they know who they are), it’s been challenging but so worth it. Had I not had the Harborne team nor Hayley or Sharon nor friends and family to help me make those self-improvements I wouldn’t have even signed up for this. I will always be grateful to them. Thank you.
Over the next 12 weeks, I will be keeping you updated on what we get up to, so I hope you keep a keen eye out for future posts and enjoy following along with my progress.