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Sally thought she would never work

"I was afraid I would not be able to do the work. But my buddy helped me."

Nineteen year old Sally had been brought up in care and dropped out of school at an early age. Having few qualifications left her with no confidence in her ability to find work. But, after taking part in Ready for Work, Sally has turned her life around:

I’m actually excited for my future now.

- Sally,
Ready for Work Graduate
In care for most of her life, Sally suffered from depression which led her to leave education. She had no confidence in her abilities, and was terrified of trying to find work with few qualifications as she’d never had a job. This all changed when Sally’s aftercare service (accommodation provision that also supports her with her mental health) referred her to Ready for Work.

After completing her training, Sally was offered a placement with Marks & Spencer through their Marks & Start programme. The first few days at work were a big step for her, but with the support of her buddy – a trained employee who was assigned the role of helping Sally during her placement – she quickly gained confidence.

“I was afraid I would not be able to do the work. But my buddy helped me. The other staff made me feel part of the team too – not like a ‘work experience’ person.”

Being given responsibility was great for Sally. She had said before her placement that she would “never work”. However, the trust placed in her to do work on her own meant that Sally had the opportunity to prove to herself she could do it. When given the task of looking after a promotion and display area in her department, Sally made a big impact on profits and even extended her placement for an extra three days so she could finish this piece of work.

With new found confidence and a list of new experiences to talk about during interviews, Sally intends to apply for work. With the help of a Ready for Work job coach providing one-to-one support, she is updating her CV and searching for job opportunities.

“I’m actually excited for my future now.”

Read more personal stories of participants of BITC's Ready for Work programme.