Megan, aged 22, from Enniskillen, had a difficult journey in life, but thanks to the Youthscape programme at South West College (SWC), she positively turned her life around and has achieved amazing things.
From a young age, Megan's life was impacted by negative situations. She said: "After finishing school, which I hated due to bullying, I joined a course and was excelling until I got myself into a bad friend group and a toxic relationship which resulted in a fallout with my family."
Following this, Megan's personal situation went from bad to worse. A family breakdown in communication alongside the aftermath of leaving a toxic relationship meant Megan found herself homeless. After a rough patch of sofa surfing and jumping from one job to another, Megan's mental health deteriorated and, with all counselling options exhausted, Megan was signposted to Youthscape, a fun educational programme for young people, where she found a new sense of direction.
Megan said: "On my first day, I was so nervous, but everyone was so supportive, and they made me feel very welcome. I could tell from day one that this was something that I needed to do. It was an amazing opportunity to gain a new direction for my future that afforded me the opportunity to gain qualifications, get paid, and meet new people."
Megan was supported in all aspects of life and gained the confidence and skillset to start afresh, enabling her to take the first steps in her journey towards independence.
She said: "During my time on Youthscape, I had the opportunity to meet new people and go on amazing trips. I learned so much about different cultures and religions alongside vital life skills in Health and Wellbeing, including healthy eating on a budget. I joined and passed a course with flying colours and participated in the Youth Forum, which empowered me. The support provided on the programme was fantastic; I had a dedicated mentor that provided 1-1 support, alongside help developing my CV and even received tailored support when applying for jobs."
Megan progressed personally and professionally and turned her life around, gaining work in a restaurant and securing employment in Youthscape/TIDES as a Good Relations Trainee Facilitator, delivering a programme to young people, gaining vital experience. Despite extremely difficult experiences, resilient Megan overcame momentous barriers in her life and was given the opportunity to start over thanks to the Youthscape programme at SWC.
Megan says: "Youthscape is worth getting involved in; it has helped me gain confidence in myself, and subsequently, it has helped turn my life around. I am now in a healthy relationship; I have my own house, and I'm finishing my Trainee role in Tides and have secured a role as a Youth Support Worker with The Education Authority. I can't believe how far I've come as a participant of the programme to now delivering it to young people."
Youthscape Programme Co-ordinator David Taylor said: "It's fantastic to see the journey Megan has gone on and that Youthscape has played an integral part in supporting her and providing her with the skills to help her future career. Our trainee posts allow for past participants to gain the skills and experience of working alongside young people to help enhance their employability skills and to give them a taste of what Youth Work is really like. It's great to see that Megan has decided to continue along this pathway and we wish her all the best in her future endeavours."
For further information and to apply, please visit: www.swc.ac.uk