Halima struggled with her mental and physical health whilst at college, forcing her to withdraw from her course. A student at Edinburgh College, studying HNC Childhood Practice, during the semester, she noticed a decline in her mental and physical health.

These concerns, coupled with the pressure of academic success, made the situation untenable for Halima and she was forced to leave her studies behind.

Feeling directionless, Halima scoured the internet for opportunities but had little success in finding something that she felt confident and enthused enough to take part in.

She eventually came across a Facebook post about Girls Week – a week-long course run by The Prince’s Trust aimed at promoting self-care, body positivity and mental wellbeing for young women – and was immediately interested enough to apply.

Halima had a fantastic time on the course, making friends, learning about mindfulness and gaining confidence. She felt that the support and encouragement of The Prince’s Trust staff – such as her key worker, Amy, and the delivery team Sophie and Mo – enabled her to overcome any anxiety she had about participating in the course or engaging in the new activities she was exposed to.

It helped to restore Halima’s positive mindset and she felt more assured and comfortable with herself. She was optimistic about her future again and then lockdown was announced.

Halima said: “Coping with being on lockdown has not been easy, there have been days where I am positive and days where I have been negative. However, I always try my best to keep myself occupied and keep calm, for example: I go outside every day for my daily walks which makes me feel better because I am able to get fresh air and have a more positive attitude!

“I love listening to music at home and outdoors! I video call my friends and family to have a catch up with them since I cannot meet them in person. Amy from The Prince’s Trust has been a great support during lockdown. She texts me and calls me to see how I am doing and updates me with online classes which are taking place during lockdown. We had a video chat on Microsoft Teams and I loved it - it was really nice. Despite the last few months, I still feel optimistic about the future.

“I feel ready to re-enter education and hope to continue to study childcare and secure a part-time position in a primary school as a pupil support assistant.”