"At the time I had been diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. I was struggling to deal with the world and had become suicidal, making two attempts to take my life"

Simon was supported by Enham Trust's youth educational programme – Skills2Acheive. His life has changed significantly since 2016 when he joined, and here he tells his story…

"Due to my mental health issues, strains at home and my living situation I was unable to complete secondary school and my GCSE’s. I was referred to several mental health agencies, which eventually resulted in starting the Skills2Acheive programme in September 2016.

Skills2Achieve quickly became my safe haven through a lot of bad times. I started coming in 1 day a week when no other learners were about, sitting on my own. Over time the amazing tutors and the support they gave me helped me to achieve my Level 1 qualification in maths and English. This spurred me on to progress to Level 2, but to do this I needed to join the main group of learners.

I hadn’t interacted with anyone my age for nearly two years and my anxiety was especially heightened around others. However, my fears quickly subsided as when I joined the group, everyone was so welcoming, students and staff alike. It felt like one big family, something I had not experienced in a long time.

After achieving my Level 2 qualifications I started looking for a teaching apprenticeship, as I knew teaching was a career I had a passion for. At the same time, a classroom assistant role became available within the Skills2Achive programme. I applied and was successful! It was the best decision I have ever made, my confidence personally and professionally skyrocketed, I felt part of a team. It gave me a purpose, something to strive towards and I can honestly say Enham has saved my life.

I have now been working for S2A for more than 2 years and have enjoyed every second of it, being able to help people who were in a similar situation – I wouldn’t change it for the world."