“I’m Lauren Knox. I think it’s really, really good actually. When I first started, I didn’t think I’d be able to achieve level one. I haven’t done my exams yet but I feel prepared for it and I didn’t think, I would be.
“I’m a young carer for my mam so I was referred. I was home schooled beforehand so I hadn’t really had social interaction with other people and they thought this would be a good step for me to take. And I’ve enjoyed it so far so I think it’s been a good thing.
“This will help me get the social skills I would need to be in a job, too. I’ve made friends for life and I never really thought I’d be able to socialise with people again.”
Humankind Work and Skills – Lauren had previously been home schooled as she really struggled with overwhelming anxiety. As a result of this, she became very isolated, rarely mixing with peers. Lauren is a young carer for her mum who is currently facing a battle with cancer. Lauren, understandably, had a great deal of extra responsibilities and was finding life a struggle. In addition to this, school had been a very negative experience. Lauren’s family are multi-cultural and this had resulted in her becoming the target of horrific bullying. Lauren felt like she didn’t belong and had no one to talk to.
When Lauren began at Humankind, she was given intensive pastoral support and had a tailored programme which identified and worked on her key barriers. From day one, numerous strategies were employed to allow Lauren to fully engage, these included working with a peer mentor, enrichment activities, intensive one to one support and a graduated, flexible learning programme.
Lauren’s life changed dramatically. For the first time in a long time, she now has a strong friendship group and feels her confidence and self-esteem is soaring.
Her attendance has improved hugely and she takes part in all activities, regularly socialising with new people. She is taking her exams and has completed accreditation at level 1 which she had previously believed to be impossible.
Lauren feels she has finally found somewhere she belongs and is fully accepted for who she is. She desperately wants to return to Humankind in September and continue her learning journey.