Young Stevenage mum’s life turned around by youth charity

A YOUNG mother has spoken about how her life has been turned around, as results published today (Wednesday) show one in five young people surveyed believe their futures have been “permanently damaged” by the recession.

Laura Clark from Stevenage had to leave college and look after her son after she became pregnant at 17.

The 21-year-old has since found work with the help of The Prince’s Trust but wants to spread the message to others who find themselves in similar situations.

The charity has released its annual Prince’s Trust Youth Index, with 2,136 16-to-25-year-olds interviewed from across the UK about their job prospects.

The results found that 22 per cent of respondants in the East of England thought their prospects has been “permanently damaged” by the recession, with 14 per cent feeling they have no future due to the economic crisis.

Speaking about her own feelings after leaving college, Miss Clark said: “When I was unemployed my confidence went right down. At college I had been outspoken and then suddenly I found myself in my own little world and felt very alone.

“I had no money to go out or do anything and I became really down and depressed. My family had their own problems to deal with and I didn’t really have any friends around me, which didn’t help either.

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“It was really tough because the recession meant everyone was trying to apply for the same jobs. I feared that I was going to be on benefits forever.”

After hearing about The Prince’s Trust Get into Hospital Services course through her partner, Miss Clark signed up.

The programme provides training and experience to young people looking to work in the medical services industry and helped her gain new skills and qualifications.

Upon completion of the course, she was offered a 12-month apprenticeship with an NHS Trust.

“The Prince’s Trust helped me enormously – now I have new friends, qualifications, and a job that I love,” said Miss Clark, who hopes to stay working in healthcare and has ambitions to become a midwife.

“My relationship with my mum is also much better now. I am interacting with more people and my confidence has sky-rocketed. The Prince’s Trust has made me the person I am today.”

John O’Reilly, regional director of The Prince’s Trust, added: “We know at The Prince’s Trust that it is often those from the most vulnerable backgrounds who end up furthest from the job market. Life can become a demoralising downward spiral - from a challenging childhood into life as a jobless adult. With the right support, we can help get these lives back on track across the region.”

For more information about the charity visit www.princes-trust.org.uk