Trapped indoors by debilitating depression and social anxiety, Steve tried to take his own life twice. With our help, he found hope and began taking his first positive steps forward.

Growing up in an abusive home, Steve, now 26, couldn’t cope with his surroundings and was placed in care aged nine. He was then sent to a residential school for boys with behaviour problems, fell in with the wrong crowd and found solace in drink and drugs. This led to trouble with the police and his life began to spin out of control.

“I thought my life was meaningless and kept myself shut off from others to feel safe.

Then Steve, from Northampton, saw a volunteer outside his local Jobcentre and decided to join the Team programme. He saw it as his last chance.

He found his first week very challenging but with the Team Leader’s guidance he was able to adjust to the 12-week personal development course, which gives unemployed young people the skills and confidence to find work.

Steve’s progression was noticeable on the one-week residential, where he started to reflect on himself and what his future might hold, take on feedback and responsibility for his own actions.

By the end of the course, he hadn’t missed a single day and was able to tell his very emotional personal story to an audience of 90.

He had embraced opportunities to grow while becoming more independent. Younger team members looked up to him as a leader and role model – a position Steve clearly enjoyed, leading him to return as a volunteer for more than a year afterwards.

I couldn’t believe how much my life moved on while I was on Team and wanted to do something to help other young people who needed it as much as I had done.

Steve is now in full-time employment with Barclaycard, his confidence still strengthening.