I wasn’t in work when this programme started and I was struggling with my confidence and my mental health at the time, I had been diagnosed with depression and ADHD. My work coach at the job centre sent me links to a few different programmes and Get on Track just stood out really, it was easy to apply to and although it looked a bit nerve wracking, I thought I would give it a go.

The fact that this was a virtual programme was a real help. There was no pressure at the start to turn your camera on and you could participate via the chat function if you wanted to which took a lot of the pressure off, I didn’t have my camera on at all at first.

We did lots of group activities over the first few weeks which made me feel more comfortable with the group and then one of the challenges we did as a group was to turn our cameras on for a period of time and after I did that, I had my camera on for every session. As time went on, showing up every week and getting on with people and becoming familiar with everyone really helped, and I just told myself to commit to it every week and just keep turning up.

At the start of the programme I wasn’t doing any activity at all really, but on the programme we did weekly exercises each time we met which I found really helpful as I do struggle to motivate myself on my own. We did lots of yoga and I really enjoyed the Zumba sessions when we did those. It’s really motivated me to do more and I now go on daily walks with my Mum and exercise a lot more regularly than I used to.

Whenever I meet new people I feel quite anxious and a bit intimidated but as I got to know them I found my athlete mentors Suzanne and Adam really supportive and I felt really comfortable working with them. I really struggle talking with people and they’ve really helped me overcome that and I feel more comfortable talking in group situations now.

For our social action project we looked at discrimination. My part of it was about mental health and I chose to do an animation - I‘d never done that before but I downloaded an app and really committed to it. I’d find twenty minutes here and there to work on it and it was a real feeling of accomplishment when I finished it. I’m not always very good at finishing things, it can be easy to give up but with this I really wanted to see it through to the end for myself but also I didn’t want to let the rest of the group down.

I went to Warwick University in September to study English Literature and Creative Writing. Before the Get on Track programme I’d have probably dropped out and come home after a week. I feel like my communication and teamwork skills have really improved and that’s really going to help as I’ll be away from home and living with a new group of people.

Now the programme’s nearing an end, I feel my mental health has improved and I feel a bit wiser. I had a bit of a panic attack the other day, but I tried a meditation which really helped, it was something I wouldn’t have done before, but Get on Track has really helped me to try new things.

Belle attended the Get on Track for Wellbeing programme virtually. Thanks to funding from Sport England, we are working with 700 young people in coastal communities all across England to help them become more active. Participants on this virtual programme were all care leavers and were referred by the DWP. The programme was run in partnership with Swale Leisure.