Stella attended the Get on Track programme delivered in partnership with Bridgend County Borough Council. Because of the COVID restrictions, the course was delivered 100% virtually. Liz Johnson, athlete mentor on the programme, takes up the story:

Before starting the programme, Stella spent her time looking after her five-year-old daughter. She hadn’t been able to go to college because of her family commitments but now that her daughter was in school, she had a bit more time and wanted to do something for herself and discover what opportunities are out there.

When she joined the programme, Stella was very quiet and reserved, lacking confidence but very willing to get involved. She lacked self-confidence when advocating for herself and felt as though her identity had become that of a mother. She found it difficult to allow herself time to evolve as an individual outside of her main role of being a parent. From day one Stella connected really well with the rest of the group and demonstrated her willingness to participate and her eagerness to succeed. She threw herself into everything and really demonstrated her abilities to prioritise tasks and focus on what is necessary.

She contributed to every activity and stepped up into any vacant roles within the group when no one else was confident in doing so. Stella showed great strength in stretching her comfort zone during every session and quickly became a reliable, respected and responsible member of the group.

Stella

I really enjoyed the course and getting to know the group, I feel like I’ve gained confidence and direction towards employment. I’m feeling a lot more positive about the future and excited for the opportunities ahead.

We really saw her gaining in confidence daily and had a real insight into her potential as she rediscovered her skills and strengths and how useful they could be in all areas of life, not just at home.  Stella had many highlights on the course but one of her major breakthroughs came during the week that we worked on interview skills and during the mock interview itself. Stella had never experienced an interview before and was extremely nervous leading into it. She overcame this by being open and honest, discussing her thoughts and feelings with the group and ensuring she was thoroughly prepared for the interview itself. Stella came out of the interview with renewed hope and pride in herself at how well it had gone and the opportunities that it might lead to.

Stella’s character and confidence really developed on this program, and I firmly believe that she has rediscovered herself as an individual. She always attended, communicated well and never dodged participation even when there were activities that she didn’t enjoy as much.

Stella emerged as a brilliant all-rounder and a huge asset to the programme, she participated in everything and constantly supported others on the course as well. Now, with this increased confidence Stella is looking forward to 2021 with the hope of finding employment.