When anxiety issues were proving a real barrier to 16-year old Rachel achieving her life goals, Includem was asked to step in and help.
Now, thanks to a programme of intensive support, the Lanarkshire teenager is now about to start a college course in her new found passion, photography. The photography project Includem ran in partnership with local photographer Carlo Paloni, was just one of the ways Includem helped Rachel build her self-confidence.
Rachel was referred to Includem through her school support teacher who felt that our approach could help her break out of the negative lifestyle cycle she was going through.
“Before Includem I didn’t really have any friends, I never really went out,” said Rachel. “Includem got me out the house, got me actually doing things. They really helped with my confidence. Knowing someone was coming to get me made me make the effort to get out.”
Rachel’s Includem project worker, Donna, worked with her for six hours a week, helping her understand some of the issues she was experiencing, and how to make positive changes to her life.
“The improvement in Rachel’s outlook has been transformational, she now has a very supportive group of friends and is well placed to start her chosen career at college. An outcome that she was very far from before we started working together,” said Donna.
It wasn’t easy for Rachel to open up to Donna at first but, with a little time, she grew to trust her, knowing she could rely on Donna and Includem to be there for her when she needed us the most.
“Donna was on the same page as me from the start and had an insight of what I was doing, what I was struggling with, and what type of support I needed,” said Rachel, “She introduced me to fun things like photography, things that would actually benefit me in the future. Now I’m going to college to study, this would never have happened without the support I’ve had.
“I’ve got so many friends now, my LGBT group which they introduced me to is like a second family, I’ve never missed it once since I started going.
“I’ve had issues, and Includem have really helped to a point where I can’t thank them enough for how they’ve got me back on my feet after everything I’ve been through.
“They worked with my mum as well, who thought it was helpful to have someone who knows what is going on in the house. Includem has really changed our lives for the better. It has been one of the best things that’s happened to the family.”
Rachel takes up her college place in the new academic year.
“I guess nothing lasts for ever though, and I’m glad it’s ending at a happy point and I can move on to the next chapter of my life with college,” she added.
“Includem is great but it does take work, my advice would be to anyone starting out with their programme would be perseverance, it will pay off for you.”