When Michael first joined Face Forward, he had nothing to do with his days and wanted to start improving his confidence and social skills; ready for employment in the future. He started by volunteering at Hope2Cycle, where he fixed bicycles and worked as part of a small team to ensure the smooth running of the workshop. Alongside this, he began to create his CV.
Not long after this, Michael moved away from home and into supported living, where he began to live more independently. This involved moving to a whole new area in which he needed to find different and more local opportunities to keep on the road to self-improvement. His CV was now complete and he was applying for jobs through various job and apprenticeship websites. With no luck straight away, motivation began to drop slightly.
This is when Michael enrolled onto the SPARC course with The Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service. He took part in many activities related to firefighting, these included: climbing high ladders, wearing breathing apparatus, learning first aid, learning water rescue and learning road traffic accident rescue techniques. All of this designed to improve the participants confidence, teamwork and leadership skills. Michael excelled on this course and his strong, determined and cheerful character really shone through.
Michael said: "Face Forward has helped me accomplish things I never thought I'd do, like the SPARC course. Before Face Forward, I couldn’t hold a proper conversation but now they have made me believe that I can do it. I would recommend Face Forward to other people, especially those who think they can’t achieve their goals, because you can. If I can, you can."
Since completing the course and adding the new qualification to his CV, he has been successful in achieving an interview for an apprenticeship. Michael is full of energy and always on the look out for new opportunities to keep him busy and advance him towards employment.
Face Forward is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the National Lottery Community Fund.