When you can’t complete mainstream education, getting from A to B work-wise can be difficult, but it’s thanks to programmes such as the CCFC Foundation and Prince’s Trust that that journey can be made more achievable.
Due to severe mental health issues, I was unable to finish secondary school and ended up with barely any qualifications. I ended up doing different courses outside of school to make up for the loss of GCSEs, but the industry I wanted to work in wasn’t as straightforward to get a place in, like a hair salon or as a teacher. I wanted to be a journalist – in particular in pop culture – but to be able to choose your area, you need to know the basics.
I’ve taken part in other courses but it’s the latest one that has made the biggest impact on me as an individual. Going from a freelance writer – jumping in the deep end with hardly any qualifications but a few very rare opportunities – it can be hard to get the skills you need without learning them in a professional manner. So when I had to take a break from my freelancing career due to ill health, I decided to put the time when I wasn’t so poorly into learning new skills and building up my CV.
That’s when I was told about the Prince’s Trust: Getting Started With Media course. Unlike other courses I had been on which only involved research and paperwork, the Prince’s Trust had teamed up with Cardiff City Football Club’s Foundation to be able to give us a real hands-on and up-close opportunity for learning these kinds of skills. The course was pretty compact, lasting only 5 days, but who knew you could learn so much in so little time? Personally, I find learning by watching and doing is far easier than writing it all down, so it was an exciting time for me.