Shamika's Story Before I came on to Get on Track I really wasn’t in the best place, I was homeless, unemployed and everything was just going bad. Because of family problems I left home when I was 16 and so had been staying with friends all over the place and basically sofa surfing for the last five years. Not having my own place really affected me. I just wasn’t sleeping properly, and I felt really isolated. I started keeping myself to myself and I pretty much forgot how to socialise and be around other people. I heard about Get on Track through the job centre but there are lots of courses that you get offered. With others, when the time to start has come I’ve just thought I can’t be bothered so not gone, I just wasn’t motivated. Because this one was run with the YMCA I thought it might be able to help with housing and it also came at a time when I knew I had to make a change, so I thought I would give it a go. My first impressions of the course – I was just thinking, ‘what am I doing here?’ But it was friendly and so I thought I would make an effort to stick it out until the end of the first week. I actually enjoyed the activities we did in that first week and the athletes really helped us to bond as a team. Staying on a course was a real big deal for me but it really felt like I could achieve something here, it felt like I was being productive. I had a real problem sleeping and then getting up in the mornings – this programme gave me a reason to get up. Getting some qualifications was really good too. Normally you’d have to go all over the place to get things, but here I got a First Aid qualification and other stuff, there’s just lots of opportunities all in one place. The course really helped me to be prepared for the next step in my life, it gave me the confidence to apply for a job again and I’m already working for the Royal Mail on the night shift, it’s the first job I’ve had since March this year. The support from the team on the programme was been great, they really helped us to bond with everyone, they’re all really cool people. Hannah really teaches you to believe in yourself, always telling you that you can do it. Claire is just the nicest person, just really supportive and just shows that she cares for you and George is like the backbone of the programme, always around and always supporting us. Through George and the YMCA I have managed to get my own place, having my own place after so long is mad! I have my own space, my own safe place and I can do what I want there – I’m having the best sleep which feels so good after years of staying with other people. Following the programme, I have so much more motivation now. Get on Track is the best thing that’s happened to me all year. It’s helped me to progress and it got me work ready. It helped get me back into a routine and given me structure to my days and stability in my life. I have time and space now to think about what I want to do I the future and in time I want to start my own business and leave a real legacy. Everyone at Dame Kelly Holmes Trust would like to thank GWR for their funding which enabled the programme in Hayes to take place.