Darren has gone through the care system, living with Foster carers for part of the week whilst trying to stay close to his father. His father has issues around alcohol use so this has not always been an easy relationship for Darren to maintain.
He struggles with dyslexia and has great difficulty reading and writing, so Works+ prioritised getting his CV knocked into shape. We felt Darren would benefit from working towards an Adult Achievement Award (AAA) which would provide him with something current for his CV whilst teaching him new skills appropriate to his interests: working outdoors on construction projects.
Darren threw himself into the AAA (planning and building a new stretch of path on Bowhill Estate to keep visitors away from a busy road) and his confidence in his abilities started growing. He made a huge contribution to the group activity whilst taking responsibility for some tasks on his own. The ranger team at Bowhill were very supportive and Darren enjoyed the teaching methods, the camaraderie and the huge sense of achievement he felt at the end of these sessions.
Darren had initially been unsure about applying for college but, through his achievements with these practical roles and his growing confidence inspired by the 1:1 work at Works+, Darren spoke more about his aspirations and how he now felt he was ready to make a commitment to this type of career.
Works+ staff assisted him with his college application for the Landscaping course at Borders College and he was called in for an interview to support his application. When we asked how the interview had gone he replied, “Great, I just spoke about all the stuff I’ve been doing at Bowhill with you guys.” He was accepted onto the Landscaping course and continues to work hard and make great progress.
Darren made a short film about his experience at Works+ where he expressed “real pride” at his achievements and is already viewing his first year at College as a pathway to further learning and ultimately setting up his own business.