Ellie Hope, 19, from Newcastle, was pursuing work experience in childcare when the pandemic hit.
“I was hoping to eventually do an apprenticeship at a day care centre, and then I suddenly had to stop going to work experience there because of Coronavirus. It has been hard jobseeking in the pandemic, as it quite badly affected my mental health, particularly at the start of lockdown.”
Ellie left school without GCSEs after facing bullying and suffering from depression.
“When I was depressed at school I couldn’t face going in, and I used to just sit with the same movie playing again and again because I couldn’t be bothered to change it.”
“I didn’t want to get back to that place, because I knew how bad it had been before, and not being able to go in to work was really affecting me.”
Ellie had heard of The Prince’s Trust when she was 17 and undertaking her Functional Skills Qualification. She got in contact with The Trust right before the country went into lockdown, and since then has undertaken an Explore Course supported by L'Oréal Paris.
“It was all online, and we covered lots, from cooking lessons to critical thinking tasks. It was quite scary at first, but the more sessions I did, the better I felt. It helped take my mind off stressful things, which really helped.
Ellie is doing well now and is returning to the day care centre to start an Apprenticeship when it reopens in September.
Her advice for other young people who are unemployed during the pandemic is to “put yourself out there and speak to people if you are worried about anything.”