“The Gifted is the first place I’ve felt really supported away from the hurt and pain of my life; they’ve taught me new skills, helped me get a job and feel better about myself, in fact I’d probably be in prison now if it weren’t for them. I don’t just speak for myself but many other young people too.” Paul, former participant and now mentor, 19

Paul, 19 referred to The Gifted by the Job Centre to take part in a course, he’d been sent on several courses that did not suit his learning style or interest him so he never completed them. At first he would arrive late and be disruptive but after 1-2-1s with our male worker he began to change his attitude, even arriving early and supporting the tutor to manage the behaviour of other students and showing them how to edit.

Paul came from a single parent household with no male role model, expelled from school at age 16 and no qualifications, he become involved in criminal activity to make quick money was due in court facing charges that could lead to a prison sentence.

After the course and avoiding a custodial sentence he volunteered to work with The Gifted and helping to run Real Talk to give other young people a safe space to come and express themselves. 

The Gifted has helped Paul to find his purpose in life and he now works as a sessional worker using his skills in sound engineering and life experience to support other young people. He also has a job at a local café.