Owen's ability to manage setbacks rewarded with police apprenticeship


Young people’s journeys into employment are not always uninterrupted and plain sailing. In late 2019 we reported on Owen’s progress working with Dora, a Talent Coach with our Delivery Partner in Bolton, Bolton Lads and Girls Club (BLGC).

When Dora went on maternity leave, fellow Talent Coach Andy began supporting Owen. We will briefly recap some of Dora’s work with Owen but you can read in more detail about this in our original case study here.

When Owen was referred to BLGC by a social prescriber, he was trying to manage his anxiety and was relatively socially isolated. Dora successfully encouraged Owen to adopt some positive self-care routines and to re-engage with the Jobcentre. As a former cadet who had dreamed of a career as a police officer, Owen decided he wanted to study policing at university.  After Owen had found a suitable course at Carlisle University, Dora and Owen researched student loans and accommodation options. Owen moved to Carlisle in September 2019. We left Owen’s story just as he was settling into his studies. 

Owen is now working at Greater Manchester Police

Sadly, things didn’t go to plan and Owen returned home after the first term. Around the same time Owen again started to really struggle with his mental health issues and some personal difficulties at home. Dora had stayed in touch with Owen and referred him to 42nd Street, who provide dedicated, immediate 1:1 mental health support to GM’s Hidden Talent participants. Owen also accessed support from his GP. Through sessions from both support avenues, he made some good progress.

Dora started to work more intensely with Owen and encouraged him to attend the first session of the Prince’s Trust Team Programme. Owen went along but felt he was too anxious to pursue the course. 

Dora found other ways for Owen to build his confidence including a group trip (with other young people) on the train to Manchester.

Shortly after this, the Covid-19 pandemic hit. During the first national lockdown, Dora stayed in touch with Owen via weekly phone calls. Some were just general chit chat and others were more structured around how Owen was feeling on that day. In June, Dora went on maternity leave and Andy started working with Owen.

“When lockdown eased, we started some social distance face-to-face meetings,” said Andy.

“At one of these, Owen said he had seen an administration support worker apprenticeship with Greater Manchester Police. I encouraged him to pursue this and offered an extra pair of eyes for the written part of his application. I also shared my thoughts on how the group video interview (part of the selection process) would work.”

"In dealing with mental health difficulties, he’s shown real strength. He doesn’t give himself the credit he deserves.”

Owen passed both the group interview and a subsequent 1:1 interview, and was offered the job.

“Owen has shown a lot of resilience in dealing with setbacks and learning to manage his anxiety. The first lockdown came at a time when he’d made some good progress with his confidence,” said Andy.

“He didn’t let this stop him and showed a lot of self-determination. Working for the police was a long-held ambition and he got there. In dealing with mental health difficulties, he’s shown real strength. He doesn’t give himself the credit he deserves.”

Owen’s job is in Bury and he is travelling there and back on public transport – a sure sign of his growing confidence.

Andy added: “It’s a case of ‘so far so good’ for Owen at work. It will be an on-going journey but he’s sticking with it. I’m there in the background if he needs any advice. I’m confident that doors will open for him– I’ve supported young people into police roles in the past and they’ve flown.”

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