“I find making wigs really relaxing, I lock myself in my office with a nice cup of tea and it helps me forget about everything and just focus. I’m such worrier with thoughts always bouncing around my head but when I start making the wigs my thoughts go silent.”

When the pandemic began Jade Burlinson, aged 24 from Lisburn, was furloughed from her retail job. As someone with a history of anxiety and depression she was concerned about how the situation would affect her mental health. Jade had recently set up a wig making business and used this as an outlet for her creativity and to destress.

“When I went on furlough I was ok for the first few months but by summer my anxiety and depression got quite bad. I was worried about money and it was difficult being stuck in the house all day. I went to the doctor and began taking medication which thankfully has helped. 

“I started making wigs a few years ago and throughout lockdown they have given me something to focus on. I used to be a hairdresser and although I loved working with hair, I didn’t enjoy the salon environment.”

Jade took part in The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme in 2019 for advice and support about how to set up a business selling her wigs. Enterprise is a free, three-day programme that covers the basics of setting up a business and provides access to start up finance support if needed. 

It is daunting thinking about starting your own business, but the Enterprise course made it seem like it is possible. I now have a business mentor through The Prince’s Trust who encourages me and regularly answers any questions I have.

"The business hasn’t moved as quickly as I would have liked during lockdown, but I have formed a partnership with a woman in America and am making wigs for her. It has been a great distraction and allowed me to make some money.

“It has been a difficult time but I’m trying to think of the positives, I’m very lucky to have a great two-year-old son and my partner by my side. When I needed help for my mental health I knew I wasn’t the only one feeling like that and that everyone is in the same boat, I’d tell other young people to reach out and ask for help if they need it.”