After a difficult childhood, Chie, 20, is ready to make his mark on the world. He is studying carpentry and, despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, he hasn’t stopped working towards his dream.

“I had a really difficult upbringing. I just didn’t really get on with my family, my emotional health was terrible and I left home at 15. I came into SHP young people’s services in Lewisham and I have been supported by them ever since.”

“Now I’m working on becoming independent and making a life for myself. I’ve got dyslexia and found academic work tricky so I knew working with my hands and doing something more physical would be a better way to go.

“I did courses in brick laying and electrical installations. Each time I was helped by SHP staff who were there to support me when I did the applications. Now I’m doing Level 1 of my carpentry course and I know I’m on the right path. I can’t wait to be in a place where I can look at a finished piece and know that I made it."

The pandemic has changed the way Chie's course is conducted, but he has continued to work hard to get his qualifications.

"Learning online has been a challenge and I’ve found it difficult to get used to. It's also been hard to not be able to go out and see friends. Luckily, SHP staff have been really supportive and helped out when I need anything. I’ve had food deliveries and help interpreting my course now that it’s online!

“When I had cold symptoms I didn’t know how to go about getting a coronavirus test but I was helped with that. I also get frequent calls to check that I’m doing okay.”

I’m in a much better place now mentally. I want to help others to do the same. When I’m established in my career, I want to mentor young people who have had similar experiences to me. I’ve learnt so much and want to share that with others. 

Chie wants to use what he’s learnt to help others when he can.

“I hope that in the future I can help young people like me who have had emotional and learning difficulties. I’m in a much better place now mentally and actually have a good relationship with my family, especially my mum. I want to help others to do the same. When I’m established in my career, I want to mentor young people who have had similar experiences to me. I’ve learnt so much and want to share that with others.