The world feels like a very different place for Catterick’s Callum and Nathan.
For both, life has taken a new direction after embarking on the Etc. Prince’s Trust Team in Catterick.
For Nathan, 26, it has led to finding work as a store assistant. While Callum, 22, is helping to inspire other young people as a learning support assistant with the Catterick Team.
“It has been really good,” said Callum, who never would have imagined himself doing the job he is just a few years ago. In fact, during lockdown, he said there is little that could have tempted him to leave the house.
First meeting Prince’s Trust Catterick Team leader, Seveci Navelinikoro (Nav), at the job centre, he initially turned down a place on the course. When he did eventually agree to give it a go, he said he spent the first weeks sitting back with his hood up.
“I didn’t particularly like speaking to people I didn’t know,” he said. He remembered it was ultimately team leader Nav that gave him the push he needed.
“He told me you get out what you put in, and he was right,” he said. In the weeks that followed, Callum’s approach changed, gaining more confidence, stepping up and even signing up for a second course.
Diagnosed with autism at the same time, he said: “All of a sudden a lot of things about myself made sense.” As for the Team programme, he explained second time round, “it felt very different”.
Callum spent three weeks volunteering at Risedale School in Hipswell. He said: “That opened my eyes to what I wanted to do. I realised I wanted to work with young people.”
When a job came up with the Etc. Prince’s Trust Team, he said: “It just felt right.” Now he gets to work with young people, with a firsthand understanding of how they are feeling.
As for Nathan, he jokes that it was his parents who “dragged” him along to the 12-week personal development programme. Like Callum, he found his feet on the course, also coming back for a second time.
Picking up life skills such as confidence, communication and working in a team, for him it proved the tipping point when it came to finding work. Nathan is now working at Yorkshire Trading.
He said: “I just wanted a job so for me the course played a massive part in that.”
The Prince’s Trust Catterick Team programme is delivered at Risedale Sports & Community College in Hipswell. The next course starts on Monday September 25. For details or to find out more visit www.stockton.ac.uk/princes-trust/ or call Nav on 07436 795882.