It is amazing the difference that 12 weeks can make, just ask these Prince’s Trust students.
They have been developing new skills, raising their future aspirations and ultimately increasing their chances of finding work.
It’s all part of a team effort after the youngsters signed up to the youth charity’s Prince’s Trust Team programme.
And the groups, all aged 16 to 25 and unemployed at the moment, have been facing one of their greatest fears, presenting to a room full of family, friends and guests.
The course which is delivered by Stockton Riverside College at various locations across the region aims to help young people get their life back on track by taking part in challenges and tasks.
Part of the Stockton Team David, 23, of Thornaby said: “It’s one of the best experiences I have ever had.”
It was Youth Direction that pointed him towards The Prince’s Trust as he wanted to build on his skills. He said: “It’s been great. You get involved in activities right from day one and after you have been on residential you are all pretty much best friends.”
The adventure residential is just one aspect of the 12-week programme which also sees the youngsters taking part in a community project, a Team challenge, work experience, CV writing and interview techniques.
The students have been learning essential life skills too, with sessions on cyber-crime and scams, identifying safe websites, and knowing how to shop safely online as well as guest speaker visits from the police and fire service.
The final presentation was the culmination of the action-packed course, offering the chance for the students to share and reflect on all they have achieved.
Stockton student Sam, 20, of Ingleby Barwick, who discovered his own strength for team leading, said: “It brings out the best in people.”
While for Middlesbrough Team members Estella, 19, and Nathan, 21, joining the course has helped them to decide on their next steps, both now keen to get started on an apprenticeship.
At the Darlington Team Cameron, who carried out his work experience in a mechanics, said: “I now want to run my own garage. During this course I have found that this is where I am truly myself, and I’ve now gained the skills I need.”
Prince’s Trust Middlesbrough Team Leader Martin Copley said: “I am always so proud of the Teams, they have all achieved so much and rise to every challenge.”
Mark Hamilton, heading up the Darlington Team added: “It’s great to see the students realise just how capable they are.”
Stockton Riverside College offers Prince’s Trust Team programmes in Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar, Darlington, Bishop Auckland and Catterick. With new Teams due to start at all locations this September call Matt on 07969 335538 for details.