June 25, 2019
Sometimes, all we need to succeed in life is the support of someone who knows what our potential could be.
Marcus has a real passion for making a difference to the lives of young people who might not have had the easiest starts to life. “I used to be like you before I did this, and look at me now” was something Marcus said to his buddy at Warrington Youth Club. In the time he has been with his New Leaf mentor, Sam, Marcus has been on a huge transformation.
College is a huge change in a young person’s life, especially when they struggle with anxiety and new environments. So, when Marcus had a meltdown at a meeting about starting the college course he was so excited about, the college decided that he ‘wasn’t ready’.
With college out of the picture, for now, and no idea what to do next, Marcus’ confidence was shattered.
Thankfully, Marcus was already working closely with Warrington Youth Club. They understood the challenges Marcus was facing, but more importantly, could see the incredible potential which he held and had the tools to be able to unlock it.
He could have easily retreated into a cave, but instead, he decided he was going to use his time to better himself. He signed up for New Leaf and was able to start overcoming some of the things which held him back from getting onto his college course, which initially meant trying to battle his social anxiety. New Leaf gives you the chance to meet new people in a safe space and so Marcus was able to meet others who understood him. That was the first step.
From there he flourished. Volunteering at the WYC gym, as well as supporting kids with additional needs at SportWorks sessions, meant he was able to gain hands-on experience to help him with a career in care, but it also allowed him to improve his social skills. He was able to gain a Level 1 qualification in Sport and complete the NCS programme as well as learning life skills like cooking and budgeting.
The time came for Marcus to reapply for college with the hope of getting on the course he was told he wasn’t ready for 9 months earlier. His New Leaf mentor, Sam, came with him for the interview, and Marcus was able to prove that not only was he still passionate about the course, he was also emotionally and physically up for the challenge.
We are delighted to announce that Marcus will be starting college in September to study Health and Social Care.
“Marcus is really becoming a grownup. His first experience with college could have broken him, but instead, he’s used it as a chance to have a fresh start” Sam, Warrington Youth Club.
New Leaf is led by Torus Foundation and is part of the Building Better Opportunities Programme, funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and The National Lottery Community Fund.