Amy came to Options when she finished a learning programme with another provider. She had spent a year undertaking Foundation Learning, which she had not enjoyed any more than she enjoyed school. She had gained Entry 3 qualifications in Literacy and Numeracy, and was applying for jobs and apprenticeships; she wanted a career in business, or the leisure industry. She was however, finding that she could not get interviews, as she did not have Level 2 qualifications.
Following assessment with Options, she began a programme aiming to get Level 1 Literacy and Numeracy, progressing to Level 2. She was very keen, and attended regularly for 2 hours, 2 or 3 times a week. She found that she had no difficulty at all in understanding the work; she said that she had never had the opportunity of being able to ask questions about things she didn't understand, as she had always been the quiet person in a class with some disruptive members.
The 1:1 tuition and personalised programme meant that she made very rapid progress, completing Level 1 and 2 Literacy and Level 1 Maths in the space of about 10 weeks. Her confidence also improved rapidly as a consequence of her achievements, and she began applying for apprenticeships. Within a few weeks, she was successful in securing an apprenticeship at the Student Loans Company, and is now working full time.
Kristen was a university student who fell on bad times. She felt that she needed to take some time off from her course to get back into a healthier frame of mind and to also build some new skills and her confidence.
Her initial plan was to gain some administration experience so she could find a job to support herself in her 2 year suspension. She took part in many opportunities such as the Options Youth Action Team, Mobile Skate Park and Darlington Community Carnival.
She improved such skills as team work, artistic skills and group discussion by building her confidence and regained her own self worth. She also ignited her passion for playing piano again after being encouraged by her peers to play them a tune at a workshop for the Carnival. The great reaction inspired her to continue playing again.
She then began to see that her main issue was her lack of confidence in her own abilities and after one year of her suspension, decided to go back to University and is now on her way to completing her last year.
23 year old Sophie started work with the YMCA through the Future Jobs Fund scheme. As part of our commitment to supporting the development of staff and young people Sophie undertook YMCA training and became qualified as a gym instructor. She later trained as a Zumba teacher. Seeing her passion and enthusiasm in the gym, Sophie was employed by the YMCA at the end of her placement. She now teaches two Zumba classes each week, one to the public, and one tailor made for Age UK and Mind.