When Charlie Mitchel was persuaded by a relative to sign up for the YouthBuild scheme his first thought was “another dead programme” he’d never finish. He’d had a tough time at school and had dropped out of college, all of which had left him low on confidence and motivation. He was, in his own words, “scared of stepping out of my comfort zone”.
On day one Charlie, 18 from Thamesmead, found it difficult to mix with the rest of the students but as the week progressed, he tried his
hardest to speak to the whole group. Then in the second week the programme was hit by Covid and teaching moved online, which Charlie found hard to engage with. But when they came back from isolation there was a breakthrough.
According to Charlie the “love, care, realness and family feel” the staff at YouthBuild created made him feel like he could be himself without anyone judging him. He started to thrive, passing the various stages of the programme, even getting 50 out of 50 for one discipline, a first for any YouthBuild programme in the UK, and he increasingly took a lead role.
Having been unable to speak in front of anyone at the start of the scheme Charlie ended it by giving a moving talk at the graduation about his journey, even though he’d never written a speech before or spoken in front of a large crowd of people. Although he was nervous, he did it because he wanted “to show the world” how amazing the programme is and what a huge impact it’d had on his life.
Since finishing the programme Charlie has obtained a job interview with a local construction company and is currently waiting to hear
about a potential job offer.
If you’re interested in taking part in the YouthBuild programme, contact Peabody at [email protected]