Wigan woman speaks out on Prince's Trust lifeline

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A young Wigan woman has spoken how the Prince's Trust threw her a lifeline in her darkest hour.

Molly Trenwith, 22, from Wigan, struggled to find work because of her anxiety and depression.

Then, Molly’s job coach told her about the Kickstart scheme.

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In November 2021 Molly started her Sales Associate placement with the TJX Group, who partner with The Prince’s Trust for wrap around employability support for young people.

Molly TrenwithMolly Trenwith
Molly Trenwith

Molly said: “The pandemic was really bad for my mental health.

"I got to the stage where I was just sat at home because my anxiety stopped me from going out.

"If I hadn’t pushed myself to get a job I would still be in my comfort zone at home. It wasn’t just the anxiety of socialising, I was also worried about getting Covid.

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“I was absolutely terrified of getting a job, but as soon as I started my Kickstart role, I loved it.

"I always thought having a job would make my mental health worse and that I wouldn’t want to go in, but because I enjoy the work and I like talking to the people there, it’s actually helped my anxiety get better.”

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The report reveals the happiness and confidence of 16 to 25-year-olds has hit the lowest point in its thirteen-year history.

The Youth Index - conducted by YouGov who surveyed 2,106 16 to 25-year-olds across the UK– gauges young people’s happiness and confidence across a range of areas, from their physical and mental health to working life.

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Almost half (48 per cent) of young people in Greater Manchester agree that the pandemic has left them feeling “burnt out”, with 46 per cent having experienced feelings of self-loathing, and 39 per cent reveal that the pandemic has caused a long-term negative impact on their stress levels.

While 52 per cent of Greater Manchester young people report experiencing a mental health problem, 46 per cent say the pandemic has made their mental health worse, and 39 per cent agree they are more anxious now.

Overall, wellbeing and confidence in young people out of work, education or from poorer backgrounds was found to be consistently worse throughout the Youth Index.

For those not in work, education or training or from poorer backgrounds, a quarter of young people report that they always feel anxious compared to 15 per cent of peers in work or education and 16 per cent of young people overall.

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Rachael Ronchetti, Senior Head of Service Delivery for the North at The Prince’s Trust, said: “The pandemic will be a scar for life on young people in Greater Manchester unless we act now.

"This alarming downward spiral of anxiety, stress and lack of confidence for the future will impact young people today and in future generations, while widening the gap for the most disadvantaged.

"With the right support from businesses, government and charities we can turn this around and ensure young people have the right skills and confidence to feel positive about their future work, and about their life overall.”

After emotional wellbeing, money is the next area of UK young people’s lives where they feel the least happy and confident.

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A third of young people in Greater Manchester say they are unhappy with the amount of money they have and half are worried that they will never earn enough to have money left at the end of the month for savings after paying for bills.

"As a bank, we are committed to helping people build long-term financial capability and confidence in order to achieve their goals – and with the right support, we can break down real and perceived barriers.

"Together with The Prince’s Trust, we’ve helped thousands of young people to overcome the barriers they face and feel more positive about the future.”

Rachael Ronchetti added: “At The Prince’s Trust, we are resolute in empowering all young people with the confidence, support, training and employment opportunities they deserve to succeed in their futures.

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"From experience, we know how transformational the right support can be to a young person in need of help and together we can prevent the threats of today’s report becoming a reality."

The Future Workforce Fund is a ground-breaking initiative that is transforming young lives in Greater Manchester, delivered by The Prince’s Trust in partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Through a network of businesses, schools and partners across Greater Manchester, the Future Workforce Fund is supporting young people in all ten boroughs to build the confidence and skills they need to realise their potential.

The Prince’s Trust’s employability courses, which are run both in person and online, give young people the practical and financial support needed to stabilise their lives.

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Three in four young people on Prince’s Trust programmes move into work, education or training.

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