“School felt manic and hectic, but the Achieve programme made me feel safe.”

Topaz, aged 16 from Surrey, found school difficult. Large class numbers and a busy environment meant she lacked confidence and didn’t enjoy going to lessons.

When she was in Year 9 a teacher suggested she take part in The Prince’s Trust Achieve programme within the school. Achieve helps young people build the confidence and skills they need to re-engage with education by providing a practical approach to learning.

Topaz said: “I found school quite hard but in Year 9 everything changed, and the rest of my time there turned out better than I had expected. I didn’t know what Achieve was when my teacher suggested it but as soon as I started it I felt more comfortable than I had in the main school environment.

“On Achieve there were only 10 in my class when there had been 30 in a class previously, this meant that we got more individual attention from teachers, and I got to know my classmates better. The work was project based which allowed us to develop our teamwork skills in a more relaxed and calm environment."

I felt like I could express myself more easily and developed more confidence.

Topaz recently finished school and hopes to start college in September to follow her dream of becoming a Social Worker.

She added: “I’ve applied to do Health and Social Care at college because my Grandma was a Social Worker and I want to follow in her footsteps. I want to help people.”