Georgina George had a tough time at school and struggled with the issue of what she wanted to do with her life for years afterwards – before everything came together shortly before the pandemic: she discovered her love for aeronautical engineering and found a job she enjoyed in the industry.
The 23-year-old shook off her past issues and started moving forward. In normal times, though, what would have been just a wobble threw her completely off track: the business she worked for went bankrupt and during her maternity leave she was laid off. Guardian and Observer charity appeal hits £ 1 millionRead moreGeorge was forced to move to her in-laws ‘house in a small Berkshire village from her home in West Sussex to save money during the pandemic, and unexpectedly saw in front of her just brick walls. “I want to work and be a good example to my daughter,”I want to work and be a good example to my daughter. “But it seemed unlikely because of the pandemic.
I sent out hundreds of resumes and scoured the Internet for days searching for work, but in this part of the world, I just couldn’t find anything. I was sunk within a couple of months of moving here.
I have lost all my confidence, suffered from anxiety, gained weight, and stopped going out.
“It felt like it was all over. “Then, by chance, George came across the Reach Up job program.
UK Youth is one of three organisations funded by the Appeal for vulnerable young people affected by the Covid crisis by the Guardian and Observer 2020. It was a short, two-week course, but, George says, the eight modules, including virtual volunteer support, mock interviews, organizing social action and networking skills, made a huge difference: “I’m a different person now, with a whole new set of skills that make me totally employable,” she says, beaming as she bounces baby Jessie on her lap. In the U.K., which was at a historic low of 5.5 percent before the pandemic, youth unemployment is on track to more than triple and hit its highest level since the early 1980s: by the end of 2020, 17 percent of economically active 18- to 29-year-olds. That’s the same level as under the government of Margaret Thatcher in 1984 and will have a devastating effect on the employability, living standards and mental health of an entire generation of young people who are at risk of losing critical trust in the skills and ambition they need to find a job, setting off a vicious spiral, says Patrick Shaw-Brown, director of national programs at UK Youth. “Youth work programs like Reach Up offer young people the opportunity to learn the skills they need to find a job, understand where they can best use their talents, and build the confidence and networks to pursue their goals,” he says. The relationship with a youth worker, often the only trustworthy adult in the life of a young person, and the safe space provided by youth organizations are crucial to serving those most in need. These are components that young people may not have discovered through other channels, such as school career counseling or job services. He was depressed and on the verge of dropping out when Jamil Mungul came to another UK Youth-supported project, Soapbox Youth Centre, in Islington, north London, in 2017.
Thanks to the help of Dellow, Mungul has created and taught new programming programs and strategies to other isolated and vulnerable young people, as well as 3D modeling and virtual reality courses, sensitively tailoring his teaching techniques to the unique challenges and fears of each person. Dellow says Mungul is now an integral part of Soapbox; someone they can’t do without. He returns the compliment, thanking the company for helping him launch his own IT organization. “This is 21st century youth work,” Mungul says. And while I support others, I also develop the abilities to progress my own career opportunities and success possibilities.”And while I’m helping others, I’m also developing the skills to advance my own career opportunities and possibilities for success.”
If you’re a young individual dealing with your mental health,