Before getting involved with The Prince’s Trust, Decoda was working on her book, blogging and volunteering. However, when Covid-19 hit, she was left job hunting in a market badly affected by the pandemic.
“I went to school back in Jamaica and my school days were a very mixed time. I was a bright child - I skipped grade 9 and moved straight on to grade 10. I was involved in every sport and was doing over 14 subjects. However, I then got expelled when I was part of something that was beyond my control. It was a very tough time because my mum died when I was 15 and I moved to another part of the country and was sent to a public school. It was very hard. Things moved more slowly out in the countryside and I missed being in a city.
“After school finished, I came to live in the UK as I was always looking for new opportunities or ways to better myself and I knew I’d wasted a lot of time in my life but had potential.
“Before I got involved with The Prince’s Trust, I was a key worker, helping different clients with their domestic care and doing things like going to the shops for them. I found The Prince’s Trust online and signed up for the Enterprise course.
“On the Enterprise course, it was so helpful to be able to talk to other like-minded young people who hoped to start their own businesses too. It was really energising and I’ve never been in a community like that before where people are so willing to help. I had wanted to start some diaries with inspirational quotes on them but got a bit thrown off the idea. My mentor was fantastic though and helped me work through my ideas. I couldn’t believe the level of support we received and the workshops were all free. However, I decided to put the business idea on hold because I had a lot going on. Because I was classified as homeless, a charity sponsored me to go back to college. I was trying to make myself happy and always tried to seek help when I needed it after going through some tough experiences growing up.
“I graduated from college last year and had been out of a job for quite some time when the pandemic hit. I’m always on The Prince’s Trust website and saw they were running a virtual Get into Health and Social Care course so I signed up.
“If I hadn’t been on the course, I think I would be sitting alone at home. The Prince’s Trust has helped in a big way. They’re the reason I’m in a job because, without them, I wouldn’t have known how to answer certain questions or express myself. I knew I had the qualifications before, but they gave me the chance to really prepare for interviews. The lessons they’ve taught me make me feel empowered and able to look forward to the future.
“To someone thinking of seeking support from The Prince’s Trust, I’d tell them to do it as quickly as possible! You will have no regrets. You’re getting valuable information for free and it can only make your life better.”