Nicole’s story

I’ve never really considered myself a responsible person. I went to college, I did three A-levels I didn’t really care about. I didn’t really have any friends there

I used to come home and have to do everyone’s stuff for them – chores, taxes, because my mum was at work and my dad was drunk on the sofa. It’s been like that for a few years, so I’ve been struggling with mental health problems for quite a while.

After Covid, I kind of lost control of everything. I didn’t know where I was going to go after sixth form, and so I ended up developing anorexia as a way to give myself control and a goal. I attempted suicide in September.

I sat in hospital for a month and a half. I decided to drop out of college, so I left the hospital with absolutely no direction and no support… until I got a call from the council who invited me onto the Spear Programme.

They gave me hope in terms of searching for jobs and apprenticeships. On Spear I’ve found a direction; they’ve given me confidence and helped me organise myself to make myself a routine. They’ve also reminded me that employers aren’t robots – you’re talking to people! You don’t have to be a robot when you talk to someone to formally.

I’ve really appreciated the practical help that Spear gives; it’s not just empty promises like some counsellors or schools give. It’s reminded me that there are things in life I can go for and enjoy.

I used all of my new skills together in an interview with a construction company called MACE; they were really surprised by me, and I was quite surprised by that – because it was my first interview ever; I’d never been accepted into an interview. They passed my CV and details on to Kensington & Chelsea and Camden, and I have a lot of options now, including working in a school in Kensington or an apprenticeship as a Network Fibre Installer. It’s given me a reason to wake up in the morning and get on with my day.

At the time of writing, Nicole is completing an Apprenticeship with construction company, MACE.

We’re delighted to see how far Nicole has come, and grateful to her for sharing her story with us.