Kamil Brooklyn, 29, from Walkden in Greater Manchester, felt like time stopped when the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK.
“Normally, if I was struggling with my depression and social anxiety I would go into the city centre and talk to people, look for ideas for new jobs, and show my face, but in lockdown I couldn’t.
“I had been working as front office manager at the same hotel chain for four years and had to leave because I didn’t have any work life balance there.
“I didn’t want to become someone who was working with no plan for my future, but I was worried about how to get a job when I left because I didn’t know what to do next.
“I’m really grateful The Prince’s Trust was offering online support and were able to help point me in the direction of jobs that were actually going. I knew I wasn’t ready to go straight into another job though, because some days my mental health meant I couldn’t leave the house.”
Kamil was encouraged to join a Health and Social Care course with The Prince’s Trust in August.
Since the course in summer 2020, Kamil has been looking after his mental health and planning for the future.
“The pandemic affected my social anxiety and the winter lockdown has just been horrible, I think the weather is affecting everyone. I also had to have foot surgery in October, which made it harder to get out the house. And I couldn’t spend Christmas with my family.
“But I’ve been using my time to sort myself out as much as possible by going to therapy. I want to be ready to go out and mentally and physically smash it.
“I know we all feel our lives are on hold in the pandemic, but I don’t think that’s the case. While we’re at home we have a lot of time, and people feeling lost should use it to get qualifications, think about their career path, and really use the time instead of waiting for everything to go back to normal.”
Since completing the course, Kamil has explored various career options, and is now looking into opening a candle business that celebrates Manchester’s local culture and helps people find calm in these hectic times.