Alan MacDonald, 28, from East Kilbride near Glasgow, had a steady job working in the warehouse of a leading supermarket. But, just as he reached the level where he could apply to be a supervisor – something he’d dreamed of – he was diagnosed with depression and dropped out.
Alan had a difficult childhood. His mum passed away when he was little, so he ended up moving house multiple times. Then, when his dad moved out, he had to face life alone.
"I wasn’t looking after myself. I was going out and having a drink. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I just felt like crap.
"I no longer cared about the job. I felt like I was going nowhere – and none of my friends understood what I was going through."
With depression running in his family, Alan got the treatment he needed and successfully got back onto his feet, landing an admin job. But, just months later, the depression returned and, once again, he was jobless.
Unemployed once again, Alan’s days turned into weeks and, slowly, weeks turned into a year. Despite applying for hundreds of jobs he got nowhere. All this, and dealing with his dad’s death, he continued to take his medication but had lost hope for the future.
It wasn’t until the Job Centre suggested he joined The Prince’s Trust Get into Logistics with DHL course, a four-week employability programme that equips unemployed 16-25 year olds with the skills and confidence they need to succeed.
Set in the nearby offices of the top delivery service, the course not only drew upon Alan’s previous experience, but also gave him new challenges to learn from.
From handling, sorting and tagging stock, Alan felt good to be working as part of a team again, under course director, Eddie Walker’s, eye.
"Our course director - Eddie – was always there for us and we had trainers from The Prince’s Trust coming in every week. They built up my confidence too. When the course finished, there was such a celebration and I had to speak in public for the first time. I told everyone what it was like to be unemployed, and how great it felt to be moving in the right direction.
Get into Logistics helped Alan to reassess his life.
"I’m not drinking like I used to, I’m eating properly, I have a good relationship with my girlfriend and I’m now a dad," he says proudly.
The confidence he’s gained through the Get into course has been put to good use through the Young Ambassador programme, a year-long volunteering initiative which allows Alan to share his story to a range of audiences to inspire other people to get involved with The Trust