I’m not originally from Glasgow, and when my relationship deteriorated with my family I was offered a place to stay here off the grid by someone I knew from high school. I soon found myself socially isolated and cut off from my friends and family by the person I stayed with. This continued for about nine months.
After this I found myself in supported accommodation, with the city council contesting my right to stay here. I already had long standing issues with my self-esteem, mental illness and forming trusting relationships with other people, and by the time I was staying there they had only gotten worse. My support network was almost non-existent, my qualifications were poor and I had no work experience. I did not have any hope for the future.
A blur of people had came in and out of the supported accommodation offering courses and activities, when someone recommended Move On to me. I was highly sceptical, but went along to an initial meeting anyway where I met Rebecca. A slight barrier was broken when she suggested I do a peer education course as opposed to the employability one I was there to apply for, despite mild protests from the person who had arranged the meetup.
I didn’t know what I was walking into when I started the course, but I soon learnt to engage with others again and built up my confidence until I discovered I actually enjoyed working in groups, and that youth and community work was something I wanted to do.
I didn’t have a lot of experience of knowing what I wanted to do, but this has led me on a journey from volunteering for Move On as a Peer Educator; to becoming a Young Inspection Volunteer with the Care Inspectorate; to now being employed by Move On as a Trainee Development Worker for the last half year. I’ve went from not wanting to speak to anyone to people not being able to get me to shut up; now I can make new friends easily and feel optimistic about my future. I hope through my work in schools I can help other troubled young people come out of their shells in the same way.