Emma, from Aberdare, had suffered from
depression since her teens, which now had become so severe she had
turned to alcohol. The Prince's Trust helped her rediscover
her happy, outgoing side.
She began to suffer panic attacks and had to
drop out of college. Finally, Emma's mum persuaded her to
seek help, but she could see nothing but a future living with
Her support worker signposted her towards a
Prince’s Trust Team programme where Emma had her first taste of
youth and outdoor work. Her interest kindled, Emma completed a five
day ACCESS course with Fairbridge in 2007, taking part in
challenging outdoor pursuits which developed her confidence and
self-belief for the first time in her life.
Emma continued attending Fairbridge and
participated in many activities, including playing the guitar in
front of 500 people at a carol fundraiser, which hugely boosted her
confidence. Through the support of her champions at Fairbridge,
John Dyer and Cheri-Lee Birch, Emma slowly began to change from a
shy and anxious girl to a strong team player capable of inspiring
Emma was a natural choice to take part in a
BBC documentary about Fairbridge, and participated in a residential
sailing trip on The Spirit of Fairbridge, where she excelled in
leadership and sailing. It became clear that Emma was a talented
team leader and sportswoman when she led her team to victory in a
small ships race in 2008, through demanding stormy conditions.
By 2009 Emma was confident, happy and looking
forward to the rest of her life. After spending time volunteering
at Fairbridge, Emma found work in France as an activity
instructor. After a period of seasonal employment, she then secured
a permanent job in at the Llain Activity Centre in West Wales,
where she worked as an instructor until September 2011; she has now
just secured employment on the Spirit of Fairbridge.
Emma, now 25, said:
Without the nurturing and support that I
received at Fairbridge I would still be isolated, reliant on drink
and not the happy and outgoing person that I am today. I would be a
burden on society instead of an active member of it. I had no
belief in my own abilities and no confidence. Now, I am doing a job
I love and am focusing on a positive future.
She has also been shortlisted as a UK national finalist at The
Prince`s Trust Celebrate Success Awards held in London on 14th
March 2012, in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales.
We wish Emma every success on the 14th March finals - but
whatever happens we are proud of her journey with the Fairbridge
programme in Wales.
We would like to acknowledge the individuals or organisations
who have played a key role in helping this young person achieve
success through their Prince’s Trust programme.
- John Dyer, Centre Manager, The
- Cheri-Lee Birch, Development Tutor, The Prince’s Trust
Unemployed, unexcited and unsure of your future? We have
something to get you going: the Team programme.
Find out about Team
Our work depends on your donation.