Matthew’s story

Matthew joined the Spear Programme in March 2021.

My life before the Spear Programme wasn’t the greatest. My mental health was in the worst state of my life. I lost my dad when I was 14 and I never truly understood the impact it would have had on me. Even now, seven years in the future, it still greatly impacts my life and how I approach certain situations.

My life stagnated, and I just had zero motivation to do anything. My schedule was extremely off. I isolated myself from my friends, my family, anyone close to me. I just kept to my own little bubble and just refused to accept what was happening. That was until my Universal Credit coach told me about Spear and explained it to me.

I did a bit of digging online, and I thought it sounded really good for me – to get out of my comfort zone to improve my confidence because it was an all-time low. The community we created on Spear – to say it’s a community is an understatement. We’re more like a family, if anything. I honestly don’t think I would be in this position right now if it weren’t for the coaches’ assistance and all of my fellow trainees.

The subject that resonated the most with me during Spear was the victim and power mentality and. I realised that I used to fluctuate between the two, between blaming everyone else for any kind of inconvenience, and taking responsibility myself. But coming into the final week of Spear, I have broadened myself out and pushed myself into the power mentality – taking responsibility for my actions, and understanding that mistakes happen, and that it’s OK.

We had an interview week, where we had professional interview us for specific jobs. I chose the role of a Childcare Practitioner, because I have some work experience in that area. During the interview, I haven’t smiled so much in my life. Speaking about how I would work as a team with my co-workers to make a better environment for the children and maintaining their safety, it really brought me warm feelings and re-lit my passion for childcare. In the last week, I’ve applied for three childcare jobs, which I’m hoping to hear back from. I’m feeling extremely hopeful for the future.