Newton Aycliffe teen puts bullying behind her thanks to youth training scheme (From The Advertiser Series)
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Newton Aycliffe teen puts bullying behind her thanks to youth training scheme
A NEWTON Aycliffe teenager whose confidence was shattered by years of bullying has overcome her fears and is excited about the future thanks to a youth training scheme.
Before enrolling on Steps4Success, in November 2011, Amy Law’s self esteem was so low she was unable to walk to the shop by herself.
Amy, who was home schooled from year nine onwards, had suffered years of severe bullying, which had resulted in her withdrawing from society and retreating to a cyber world of internet chat rooms.
Today, however, her crippling shyness has been replaced with a quiet confidence and dreams of becoming a novelist.
It is all thanks to community support charity Disc and its youth training programme Steps4Success. The scheme, which unlocks the potential of 16 to 18-year-olds who are not in education and employment, was launched in Newton Aycliffe two- and-a-half years ago.
To date, about 160 young people have benefited from its combination of practical advice, skills and confidence building courses and work placements with organisations such as Katell, Aycliffe Dental Practice, Aycliffe Day Nursery and Bluebell Workshops.
Courses range from health and social care, to retail, construction, and business administration.
After successfully completing the personal social development course, Amy, 17, enrolled on the vocational level one BTEC certificate in business administration.
The combination of group work, classroom sessions and a work placement helped build her confidence and she became an active member of the group, offering valuable content during learning discussions.
“She was even able to participate in a Disc presentation ceremony where she stood and told her story to others, many of which she did not know,” said Sue Semple from Disc.
“What a fantastic achievement.”
Amy left Disc in September 2012 and is now excelling on a Mencap work placement at Spennymoor Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
She also volunteers for Newton Aycliffe Town Council’s environmental department and has written more than 21 short stories.
Amy said Steps4Success had made an enormous difference to her life.
“It has helped a lot with my confidence,” she said.
“I used to be a loner and didn’t talk much and never wanted to get involved. Disc has helped me to gradually open up.”
Mrs Semple said the charity would love to hear from other young people interested in Steps4Success.
Free transport and bursaries are available, as well as help with other course costs.
Contact 01325-731160 or firstname.lastname@example.org