Not all the outcomes on GM’s Hidden Talent will be related to employment – for some of our young people, our Talent Coaches will be supporting them to return to education, or vocational training courses. Talent Coach Andy Simm, of Bolton Lads and Girls Club, is working with one young person who has returned to college while supporting himself with part time work.
Nathan found himself ‘hidden’ – not claiming benefits and not in employment, education, or training, back in June 2019. He found engaging with the DWP difficult, and the process around claiming Universal Credit confusing. In addition, due to previous substance misuse issues, Nathan found that not having money was a temporary preventative fix to his substance misuse. He supported himself while living with his family by assisting them with odd jobs, such as helping his Grandad with shopping and cleaning.
"I’ve known Andy since I was in Year 11 of high school, he has been one of the only people I feel has not let me down. In short, there are no words to describe Andy and his continued support.”
Andy, who had known Nathan since he was 16, originally began supporting Nathan by linking him to a local recruitment agency. It soon became apparent to Andy and Nathan however, that returning to education was a better step for him. Nathan had previously struggled to engage with education and did not pass his exams due to the lack of attendance. Re-entering a classroom environment was therefore a big step for Nathan, and a major barrier that, through working with Andy, he has been able to overcome.
Nathan began studying a Level 1 City & Guilds Diploma in Horticulture, Level 2 Literacy and Level 2 Numeracy Diploma. Passing both his Literacy and Numeracy exams in November was a demonstration of how well he has reengaged with education. Alongside his studies, he has also found himself a part-time job with a local building contractor, as a site labourer.
Andy said: “I am proud to see Nathan thinking more positively about himself and his future again. I know he will always have his ups and downs but this time around he is doing more and more by himself and doing this with self-belief and confidence.”
Nathan said: “Over the last seven months or so Andy has again helped me by improving my mental health and everyday wellbeing. He encouraged me to take that step back into full-time education and recently supported me to pass my English and Maths exams. I’ve known Andy since I was in Year 11 of high school, he has been one of the only people I feel has not let medown. In short, there are no words to describe Andy and his continued support.”
The GM’s Hidden Talent team wish Nathan luck in his continued studies, and thank Bolton Lads and Girls Club for their continued partnership on the programme. To learn more about the work GM’s Hidden Talent does, you can subscribe to our E-Bulletin.