Shannon, 21, joined Progress to help her gain qualifications, build confidence and help her to secure a full-time job.
“I joined Progress back in July 2017 through Positive Youth Foundation. I live with learning difficulties – including autism ADHD and dyspraxia – and I was told that Progress could help me to both gain new skills and improve my confidence.
“During my time on the programme with Positive Youth Foundation, I have taken part in various group sessions including cooking workshops. I also was involved in the BBC Biggest Weekend at Fargo Village as Positive Youth Foundation were the official recruitment partner for the event, which was a brilliant experience. I was introduced to Hillz FM and got involved with their Music Leads to Work project.
“I was keen to get more experience with developing my employment skills and confidence levels with talking to people. I was referred to Voluntary Action Coventry, where they have helped me to find voluntary work which has been really helpful.
“My biggest personal barrier is that I struggle with my confidence and low self-esteem – before I joined Progress, I didn’t like myself. I still find it difficult, but I’m learning to like myself a bit more and know that I have grown in confidence. It’s helped being round other young people who I can chat to, so I’m getting more comfortable with interacting with people.
“I’m currently volunteering in Central Library: it’s my second volunteer role that VAC supported me to find and apply for, and I help out in a book shop on Saturdays too. I’ve also taken English and Maths qualifications with Positive Youth Foundation’s functional skills tutor, so I’m excited to hear how I’ve done.
“I’m confident that Progress will help me to find a job – I believe in myself a lot more than I did before.”
Abu Miah, Progress Coach, said:
“Shannon is a prime example of how a young person with complex learning needs can still thrive by focusing on her strengths and working on those skills which she feels she can improve on. The support she received by VAC in identifying and applying for volunteering roles has given her that opportunity to put into the practice some of these skills that she has developed at Positive Youth Foundation.”