By Michael Taylor, ex-Prince’s Trust Team member and now a Sessional Youth and Community Worker
Now my story isn’t as dramatic or inspirational as others you’d hear but the great thing about The Prince’s Trust Team programme is the diverse group of people it helps, whether you have drug/alcohol abuse, past convictions or someone like me who just needed that kick up the arse.
I signed up for The Prince’s Trust Team programme in October 2011 at Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale. Before joining I was unemployed and had no idea what kind of career I wanted to go into and everything I tried proved difficult with the lack of experience I had.
When signing up for the programme I was drawn to the work experience weeks and the community project as this would give me the experience I needed as well as helping the community. I was apprehensive about joining as I’d never liked working within a team, preferring to work on my own and at my own pace but with the encouragement of the team leaders that soon changed.
The first thing I noticed that was different from dealing with other organisations was that in the first few days I was asked a question, which was “what do you want to do?” and I couldn’t really answer that as I’ve never been asked it before. A few ideas were working within the Police or in football industry.
I was given the opportunity to do one of these for my work placement when I got the chance to coach kid’s football. And if anyone knows me, I’ve never been too fond of kids but I really enjoyed teaching them something I love doing.
My time on The Prince’s Trust Team programme was a great experience – doing things that I would never have thought of doing such as the activities on residential and working within the community.
I feel after finishing that I am a completely different person from when I started. My motivation to do things has greatly improved. I really enjoyed the entire programme especially the community project. We worked at a disability centre in Shaw and there was a lot of work that needed doing and it felt good to be helping others, which would convince me of the kind of career I would want to go into.
I would get this opportunity once I had finished on the programme when I was asked to do some recruitment work for the next Prince’s Trust Team based in Oldham which eventually led to me working alongside the team. I helped other young people improve their own key skills and help them realise their own potential. I feel my own experience on the programme and the knowledge of the effort that people put into it can help them do this. I’ve really enjoyed working with the teams and not only am I helping others I am still constantly improving my own skills.
Doing voluntary work has given me the opportunity to create a career for myself. Not only has it given me the chance to work within the industry but it also looks great on a CV to employers who are looking for hard working and highly motivated individuals. Nothing can show this as good as doing unpaid work.
Since doing voluntary work with the Prince’s Trust Teams I have gained employment within Groundwork as a sessional youth worker and communities worker, on sessions throughout the Oldham and Rochdale boroughs. I’m working with a number of people from the the age range of 5 years old to 55+, trying to make a difference in the community and changing people’s lives for the better. I hope I am anyway.
Thanks to the help of The Prince’s Trust Team programme and Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale I have gone from an unmotivated individual with limited work experience to a highly motivated team worker with a career in youth and community work in front of me.
I would urge anyone aged 16 to 25 and with nothing to do to take part in the Team programme. If you need more convincing attend a Final Presentation and hear from the Team members who have just done the programme.