Having to juggle studies with care responsibilities, Gerard left school at 16 with no qualifications and spent most of his free time hanging about Glasgow’s east end drinking, ultimately heading further down a dark path.
Now working as a support worker with Quarriers, helping people with their everyday living needs, Gerard is thriving and at a happy & stable place in his life - but it wasn't always the case.
After drinking too much one night, Gerard ended up being involved in a fight and was stabbed. Lying in hospital, he knew things had to change but he wasn’t sure where to start, especially when he began suffering from anxiety and was scared to leave the house.
Gerard said: “I didn’t show up at school and had little motivation. I just wanted to go out every weekend and I never looked ahead to think about my future. Where I grew up things like drinking too much and fighting is normalised. But one night, a situation boiled over and I was stabbed."
“I don’t remember much apart from thinking I was now in dangerous, possibly fatal situations and I knew I had to make a change. It was hard and finally I realised that I needed to ask for help. The Prince’s Trust has been instrumental in helping me to change my life and I absolutely love my job and the people I work with.”
Gerard took part in a Prince’s Trust Scotland pilot programme, funded by the HSBC Innovation Fund, aimed at showing young people different career options. During one of the workplace visits to Quarriers Village, Gerard had a lightbulb moment and he realised that social care was a sector he could not only enjoy, but build a satisfying career in.
Not long afterwards, The Trust was running a Get into Social Care with Quarriers course which Gerard successfully completed. He was then offered a job as a Support Worker at the Calvey project and is now also a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador, sharing his story to inspire others.