This summer 19 year old Katie Ratcliffe, from Stafford, became the 200,000th young person to have been supported on the Team programme.

Before starting the course, which is ran in partnership with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Katie had been unemployed for several months, which impacted on her wellbeing, leaving her frustrated and lacking self-esteem. She says:

“Being unemployed can be really tough, especially when you’re young. I went from being happy and having a routine to having nothing, and it really knocked my confidence. I kept applying for jobs but wasn’t being given a chance which left me really frustrated. It’s the bit about not having anything to get up for the morning - I’d always had a plan and never thought I’d find myself in that position. It was really demoralising.”

Katie’s confidence began to return during Team and she developed strong leadership skills, often raising the morale of the group. This was particularly evident during the community project where Katie and her peers built a sensory community garden in Highfields, Stafford. At the end of the course, Katie, who had always wanted to work with animals, was successful in applying for a position at Sunnyside Kennels, based near Coven, Wolverhampton. The facility provides care for lost and abandoned dogs before reuniting them with owners or finding them new homes. She says:

“I really enjoy my job and I’m much happier about my life.  I would definitely encourage other young people out there who are struggling to get in touch with The Prince’s Trust. They can help you to regain your self-belief, become work-ready and ultimately land a job.”

Prince's Trust Delivery Partner Manager James Hettihewa-Young has been working on Team for several years. He says, 

“Katie demonstrated enthusiasm and dedication during Team and we are proud of what she and the group achieved. Often young people just need a chance to prove themselves, and Katie has grasped that opportunity with both hands.”