Chris attended the New Shoots programme at the end of 2017. 

“I can honestly say I walked out of Vauxhall City Farm a far more confident, self-aware, happier, purposeful and motivated person than I walked in!"

Prior to being referred to and participating in our New Shoots programme; Chris had been unemployed for over three years. He had been suffering from depression and had lost confidence which, in his own words, had led to a “lack of motivation and productivity, self-doubt, loneliness and even suicidal thoughts”.

New Shoots is a recently introduced personal development programme for unemployed 18-25 year olds. The programme comprises six weeks of group based activities to help those taking part develop their confidence, teamworking, employability and practical skills followed by up to nine months of 1:1 mentoring and support to help young people continue to maintain their motivation, build further skills and ultimately, achieve a positive outcome of employment or further education and training.

On joining the programme on 7th November 2017, Chris, along with a group of other young people in similar personal situations took part in a range of activities including a social action project which saw the group plan and deliver the complete transformation of an overgrown garden area on behalf of a local church. Chris worked hard to build his teamwork, communication and leadership skills and his confidence and motivation grew week by week.

"I’d recommend the New Shoots progamme to anyone who wants help getting to the next phase in their life and I would love to see the programme continue to grow and help others like it has for me"

Towards the end of his time on the group programme Chris applied for and was offered an interview for a support carers role. He has since fed back to us how the support and encouragement provided, along with the experiences and skills gained whilst on the programme, enabled him to approach the interview with confidence and armed him with lots of examples of how he would be of value in the role being applied for. His interview was successful, and he will be starting in his role in January 2018 but will continue to have 1:1 mentoring sessions with us to support him to transition successfully into his new world of employment.

In Chris’s own words: “I can honestly say I walked out of Vauxhall City Farm a far more confident, self-aware, happier, purposeful and motivated person than I walked in. I now have a job! I enjoyed each day I was there which is testament to everyone involved. I’d recommend the New Shoots progamme to anyone who wants help getting to the next phase in their life and I would love to see the programme continue to grow and help others like it has for me".