Richard found a new lease of life and gained employment thanks to Foundation of Light’s ‘Back in the Game’ programme.
For many years the 26-year-old suffered with anxiety and was a very nervous person, something which all started after his Grandmother sadly passed away in 2010. He started to suffer with mental health problems but like many was too scared to seek help.
“The only time I would leave the house was to go the local Job Centre and then I’d go straight back home after. During this time my mental health suffered but I felt unable to go and get help.”
“One time when I was at the Job Centre, I met the Foundation’s Back in the Game staff. They talked to me about how it could help me get my confidence and motivation back and, despite being a little hesitant, I decided to sign up.”
Through individual support, as well as group work with other jobseekers Richard started to notice a difference and within a matter of weeks he started to regain his confidence which motivated him to change his life.
During his time with the Foundation of Light, Richard completed a Workskills and Personal Social Development Level 1 qualification in Employability, BTEC Level 1 and 2 in Sport as well as a FA Level 1 in Coaching Football, alongside taking part in volunteering with the ‘Back in the Game’ employability programme and Kicks youth programme.
I wanted to repay the help and support the Foundation had given me by volunteering and helping other learners help to overcome similar barriers to myself.
Richard was nominated in the Foundation’s annual ‘Top Scorer’ celebration award ceremony, where he won the Increased Confidence Award. “It was very emotional for me winning the award and made me realise how far I have come.”
A few months after Richard’s award win he was shortlisted for the Street Football Team England. The three-day training course held at the state-of-the-art St. George’s Park gave participants an opportunity to access intensive personal development sessions alongside specialist street football coaching. Richard was shortlisted and travelled to Portugal and Norway as part of the team.
“This was the first time I had been abroad on my own and one I will never forget. I met people from all over the world, all from different backgrounds and made me realise I wasn’t the only one who had issues to overcome.”
Most recently Richard accepted the role of Sports Assistant at the Beacon of Light where he supports with the day to day operations of the facility, ensuring every aspect of service within the Beacon meets the high standards customers expect.
“I can’t thank the staff enough for the help and support I have received and with this my mental health and overall wellbeing has improved so much.”
‘Back in the Game’ is an eight-week programme supporting adults aged 19 and over with opportunities to gain qualifications, work experience and employment.
All course participants will be able to access the Beacon of Light’s state-of-the-art World of Work zones, giving learners first-hand experience of equipment used in leading North-East industries, supporting participants to obtain qualifications and skills.
10 September 2018