A group of unemployed young people have told how their life prospects have improved following their completion of a training programme.
The group, aged between 17 and 21, received certificates during a presentation and ceremony at the Burton Centre in Haverhill last Thursday (20) for their completion of a Team Programme.
The team of eight are the first Haverhill group to complete the programme run by the ITFC Charitable Trust, which delivers it in conjunction with The Prince’s Trust and West Suffolk College.
All of them were put forward by nominators such as Connexions or the JobCentre, and all qualified to participate because they were classed as NEET (not in education, employment or training) and in the 16 to 24 aged bracket.
The 12-week programme included a one week residential at RAF Barnham in North Norfolk, a two-week work experience placement and team challenges benefiting the community.
Each participant spoke of the gains they have made from completing the course.
Andy Kinsella, 21, from The Cangle in Haverhill, said: “Before I came on this course I had no confidence in myself, but that has completely changed.
“After this course I hope to go to college to gain qualifications in ICT and get into my dream job of video game design.”
Zoe Ramsbotham, 19, from Haverhill, said: “Before I started this course I slept for 12 hours a day and couldn’t be bothered to go out and meet people.
“Before this course I was worried I wouldn’t get on with anyone, wasn’t I wrong.”
Their positive experiences taken from the course were echoed by 20-year-old Keira-Marie Seaborn, who lives in the Cangle.
“I have done more things in the last three months than I have in the whole year. It’s completely changed my lifestyle for the better.”
Ola Anderson, a team leader from West Suffolk College gave an insight into the benefits to be gained from doing the course.
He said: “It’s one of the most effective programmes that young people can get involved in.”