Struggling with ill-health and mental health challenges, 24 year old Natasha, from Uddingston, was unable to leave her house. She had sunk into depression in the years after she had left school, badly affected by a series of family deaths and challenges.

Leaving school at 15 with few qualifications, Natasha didn’t know where to turn after she was knocked back from following her dream of becoming an Army nurse. Determined to work in the healthcare sector, she joined a health and social care course at college, but shortly after her gran became ill Natasha left college to help care for her.

Her gran died on Hogmanay 2011 and in the following years of 2013 and 2015, Natasha also lost two aunties and her granddad. Losing four close relatives took its toll on her.

“I didn’t get a chance to grieve properly after each death – then it all hit home at once. After I lost my grandad in 2015, I did so much for him then I had nothing left to do. I’d gone from helping, to having nothing to do and I thought, ‘What use am I now? I didn’t know how to put one foot in front of the other and I didn’t know how I was going to get out of this tunnel.”

Natasha was diagnosed with depression and couldn’t leave the house.

I didn’t go out at all - it was the same thing every day. The telly was on but I wasn’t taking anything in as I was so uninterested. I lost belief in myself. I thought, ‘I can’t get out of this’. I lost all interest in my appearance. I didn’t have interest in anything. Some days I didn’t get out of bed.

Natasha was also suffering from health problems as her bowel wasn’t working properly. In 2015, when she was only 21, she had surgery and now has a stoma fitted.

She struggled further following her operation. “I thought to myself, ‘Now I have this there’s no way out - no one is going to see me the same’. It really affected my confidence.”

Then in 2016 Natasha joined The Prince’s Trust Get into Healthcare programme but due to ill-health she had to quit. She was on benefits until her health improved and she joined the course for a second time.

“I thought, ‘I’m not going to let this illness rule me’,” she said.

After successfully completing the programme in December 2016, Natasha was offered a full-time job at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, in the general medical ward.

“It was like a dream come true,” she said. “I still suffer with depression. But this has given me the boost to get my feet moving in the right direction.

“Before I had lost my mojo, believing that I couldn’t do it and that my health was always going to get in the way of opportunities. The main barriers for me were my lack of confidence and the ability to believe I could do what I really wanted to do.

Prince’s Trust has helped me by accepting me for who I am regardless of what conditions I have. I feel like I’ve got somewhere to go now. I know I’ve got this job, so it’s one step forward from where I use to be.

“I’ve always wanted to help others. I received help and support in hospital and I wanted to be able to give something back to others.”