Before starting at the House of St Barnabas I had no desire to do anything and I would make excuses. I always felt tired, even though I wasn’t busy, and it bothered me.  When I started at the House of St Barnabas, I had no sense of direction or pathway; I had so many interests but was confused and didn’t know where to focus. In the first week at the House of St Barnabas, I already felt a change in myself. I could see myself wanting to do more and instead of saying “I can’t” all the time I would change it to “I’ll try” or “I’ll give it a go”, which has already helped improve my mental health. I now have better structure and am more proactive.

I was at the House of St Barnabas for six weeks, which meant waking up earlier than usual and getting myself into a routine. It was hard at first, but I started to get into the swing of things and before I knew it, the course was done! I wish we had longer here, but I will take what we have learned into the real world and become successful. I learned something practical from everyone I spoke to at the House and I feel like I’m ready to go out into the world of work and take steps to get me closer to my goals.

Over the course of the programme, we had many group discussions on topics including the kind of skills we have, what our dreams are and how we can make sure we’re being realistic. Doing this definitely helped me to realise more about who I and that I am so much more than what my head tells me – I can see that a lot of the time it’s easier to be negative about ourselves than to be positive. I’ve learned that I’m not perfect, but I am somebody who is loving, caring and friendly. I am a good team leader, open to new ideas and a very good listener. I hadn’t recognised these skills in myself before, but once I did, the House of St Barnabas helped me to match them to a job role that I could really see myself doing. I did work experience with the Income Team and Reception Team, and I loved it. I learned how to use Excel properly; I learned how to feedback to comments from members and learned how to organise artwork and put it into a brochure. I will forever be grateful for what the House has done for me and the positive impact that it has on people’s lives. If I could do it again I would. I feel like the work I have done in 6 weeks at the House of St Barnabas, would have taken me a whole year by myself.

Being at the House has been really empowering – a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Everyone has been welcoming and friendly, whether they are staff from the Employment Academy or the reception team or the members’ club staff. The House itself is beautiful and feels like a haven. I really admire what the House of St Barnabas have done for me and many other people. This has been a big wake up call, it’s made me really want to do something positive in life – I know now that I can do anything I put my mind to.

I believe in the House of St Barnabas and what they do – in the future I would love to become a member and donate because what the House of St Barnabas does is beyond what you could ever imagine. This is especially true in a time like this, coronavirus has not made things easy for anyone. The House of St Barnabas did an amazing job of keeping everyone safe and following guidelines, whilst teaching us everything we need to know to be prepared for work.

Thank you, the House of St Barnabas, for everything!

To find our more about the work of our Employment Academy, click here.