James came to YMCA to try and get away from his involvement with county lines. James worked hard with leaving care, the YMCA and SDAS (Somerset Drugs and Alcohol Service) to support him to move away from a life in county lines. He struggled with his mental and emotional health whilst living within one of our housing projects; however his Nan was a constant source of support, love and encouragement to him.
James’s nature is very caring and level headed, YMCA staff used to joke with him that it was like having an additional support worker on site, as he would always be willing to give out solid advice and encourage others who lived with him. Staff encouraged James to look into professions in a caring capacity, such as being a support worker, leaving care worker, youth worker or a paramedic. In the summer of 2019 James was encouraged to apply to the National Citizenship Service Scheme as a Young Leader. James excelled at his interview and attended training sessions to prepare him. He spent weeks over the summer working with and encouraging young people to engage and work collaboratively as a team. Young Somerset were very positive about James (especially that he was an excellent team player!) and would love to have him back next year.
James continued to work on his mental and emotional wellbeing and also work through our Move on Move out scheme until he was assessed as ready to live independently. James moved to a new flat in with support from our floating support team and leaving care. He is currently attending a maths and English course and applying for his driving licence.
We believe that James will go on to become a valuable member of a caring profession one day, and will bring life experience that cannot be taught alongside a cool calm and collected persona. Good Luck James and congratulations on all you have achieved so far