Natalie – “I thought I was alone till I met youse

Natalie signed up to the Youth Employment Initiative with Youth Focus North East after staff visited a mini workshop at Savvy’s Health Hair and Beauty Salon in North Ormesby. Natalie had never had a job before and wanted to start making a positive difference for herself and the future of her family. Read about her Journey below.

When we first met Natalie, she was part of a small group that all wanted to move forward, but faced the challenge of child care as a single parent. Natalie also admitted very honestly that she was crippled by low confidence and self-esteem issues. Attending the initial welcome event was the biggest step she had made in years.

Natalie has always wanted to continue her studies, but as a mother to 4 children, felt she never had the time. She felt college courses did not provide her with enough support and the timetables meant she would be expected to be there while the children needed collecting.

Together with Savvy’s, we tailored her a personal development plan which culminated in her achieving Level 2 accredited qualifications.
After tears of joy, Natalie gave her all to the programme, and alongside her personal mentoring, she began to shine. Natalie has an amazing talent in hair and pretty soon people were lining up to be models for her to practise on.

Natalie continued to face challenges in her personal life. After her benefits were stopped 2 weeks before Christmas, Natalie’s confidence took a significant knock.

Natalie was so down she disengaged from all support. Lisa, Natalie’s trainer at Savvy’s went to see her at her home where Natalie disclosed her family challenges, feelings of severe isolation and her plan to end her life. With additional and intense one to one support from Youth Focus North East and staff from Savvys, Natalie steadily reengaged in her training and accessed additional support services. Natalie completed her training and an additional course to become self-employed with Prince’s Trust.

Natalie continued to work closely with Lisa and Savvys, and was offered work experience in the salon and training academy. Now full of confidence, Natalie shared her own story with other learners and became a true role model for other young women. Her story has touched so many and continues to inspire other’s to complete their qualifications.

Natalie now works part time with Savvys and is currently going through her own teaching qualification to be able to deliver her own pin up qualifications.

Natalie’s story is real proof that connecting with the right person can be instrumental for positive change. Knowing there are others out there that understand what you have been going through, and how hard it is to make something of yourself when you are a mother cannot be underestimated. More importantly Natalie is evidence that true grit and determination to succeed coupled with the right support can overcome the challenges life throws at you.

We received a message from Natalie at the end of the programme saying how she felt:

“Youse made me a better person and made me see my choices clearly I thought I was alone till I met youse so thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me understand it’s okay not to be okay xxxxx”

Natalie recently signed up for her Level 3 Teaching Qualification. Good luck from us all at YFNE!