Online courses boost Bethan during lockdown

We want to end youth homelessness and we’re tackling the problem locally by providing a home and support to over 100 vulnerable young adults every night. We give the young people a stable home and provide them with the skills they need so they can leave us and forge an independent life.

Sharon is the Job Coach for The Benjamin Foundation. This role has been made possible due to funding received by the End Youth Homelessness project. Working with all the young people accessing housing services provided by our charity in Norfolk and Suffolk, Sharon spends time helping young people move into education, employment and training.

With good knowledge of what colleges and providers are able to offer our young people in the county and beyond, Sharon works on both a one-to-one basis or with groups of young people.

Bethan* is a young person who resides with one of our Heart and Home hosts in Suffolk.  Bethan’s previous home life was not conducive to her well-being. She struggled to concentrate at school, due to the issues presented by her home life and as a result, did not do well academically. She did not take any exams and her attendance was poor.

Once Bethan was settled in her placement, she felt more able to concentrate, think about what she wanted to do with her future and explore her aspirations for a career. She spent a year working at fast-food restaurant, but felt this was not right for her.

Her Support Worker suggested that she look at online training to help her explore different job roles and to undertake some vocational learning.  Bethan was open to this idea and initially signed up for a Childcare Diploma, but after completing this she decided that this was not the right route for her so she then signed up for a Nail Technician course and a Manicure and Pedicure Diploma, which she has thoroughly enjoyed and says:

“I love doing nails and wanted to get the theory to help me to do these properly.”

Bethan recognised that, as she had left school with out any grades, she would benefit from gaining qualification in English and Maths and successfully completed both Level 1 English and Maths. She then went even further to complete Level 2 in both subjects, which was an amazing achievement.

The courses were all financed through the End Youth Homelessness bursary. Bethan says:

“Without this financial support, I would not have been in a position to complete these courses.  Being able to complete them in my own time at my own pace, has also helped and I am very appreciative of this support.”

During this latest period of lockdown in early 2021, Bethan signed up for a Drugs, Solvent and Alcohol Abuse Psychology Diploma. When asked why she chose this course she explained that she was interested in Psychology and wanted to gain an understanding as to why people misuse drugs, solvents and alcohol.

Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, Bethan says that the last year has been “alright” and she has just had to get on with it. The online learning has enabled her to keep herself and her mind busy, and for this she is thankful.

Bethan is now looking for employment. Although she is not sure in which field this will be, she is open to trying different things and continues to job search every day. She is hoping once things open up following the lockdown restrictions, there will be more opportunities for her to apply for and she looks forward to putting her online learning into practice.

*Name has been changed.

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A young person we look after in one of our accommodation centres

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