Mary was born in Ireland but moved to Scotland with her parents as a teenager, completing her final year at school in her new home. Finding the change in the education system challenging, Mary failed to secure the grades needed to get into college on her first try.

However, she was determined to study Journalism and took extra classes and tutoring to ensure she progressed to college the year after.

Around the same time in 2019, Mary was diagnosed with Fibroids, a medical condition that causes her a lot of pain and affects her diet. The pain and dealing with it has left Mary feeling down and lacking in confidence, as she’s never sure how much pain she will be in from day to day. This and losing her part-time job due to the pandemic had a negative impact on her confidence and when she was told about The Prince’s Trust at the job centre, she knew the support on offer could help her.

Now, Mary is attending The Trust’s online group sessions and getting 1-2-1 support from her keyworker.

She said: “Moving to Scotland in the middle of my education was challenging but my dream was to study Journalism, so I was determined to keep trying until I succeeded. When I started college I was also diagnosed with Fibroids, which has had a big impact on my life. So, when my work coach at the job centre told me that I could get support from The Prince’s Trust to build my confidence and help me get a job, I was instantly interested. I went home and read the website and then told my work coach I would like to get involved.

“My experience with The Prince’s Trust and my keyworker Ade has been all positive. Not only do we talk about my goals and how to achieve them, we also talk about other fun things like shows I enjoyed and things I have been up to. I found the relationship building at the start good and a very important step in my journey with The Trust.

I have attended group sessions such as Managing Feelings which has helped me understand how to cope and channel my emotions in the correct way, and My Vision which has helped me set goals and how I can achieve them. It also helped me to identify my skills which I can put on my CV. I have been speaking to other people on sessions and this helped improve my communication skills and feel confident when speaking to people.

Mary is now looking forward to attending more online sessions and applying for jobs and is in a much happier and confident place than she was a few months ago.

She will also be taking her National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) exams after completing her HND in Practical Journalist at college and even has hopes of starting her own business.

Mary added: “I’m really looking forward to the future now. I’ll soon be a qualified Journalist which has been my dream for a long time and I’m now thinking about completing a proof-reading course in order to set up my own business offering proof-reading services initially then hopefully expanding!”