Paul, inspired by seeing his brother’s achievements on our Impactful Starts employability programme, joined our Cashback Summer programme in the hope of having fun, making friends and spending time over the summer gaining new skills. Paul initially believed art wasn’t for him. He came to the group not knowing anyone and having little to no experience of using art materials or art practice. The challenge for Paul was getting the time to try out new things for himself and seeing that being creative was something he could do. However, throughout the programme, he not only made new friends but also embraced various art activities, contributing to a group quilt and discovering a passion for creating his own video games.
Despite limited prior experience, Paul excelled in gaining his SQA Practical Abilities qualification, showcasing his commitment to learning and teamwork. Engaging in the John Muir Award, he actively participated in environmental conservation activities, displaying leadership and mentoring skills. Paul’s journey on the programme highlighted personal growth, from overcoming scepticism about art to excelling in diverse projects.
Looking ahead, Paul plans to return to school and has applied for a Digital Marketing apprenticeship. Over the course of the programme Paul worked really well with others and wasn’t afraid of trying out new things, and can see that doing so results in identifying new interests outside of school.
Paul said; “The programme has really helped me mentally and helped take my mind off of other things going on. I believe Cashback Summer is a great opportunity for young people like myself. It’s really helped me, and I have to thank the staff, and all the people that came in to show us how to do things like First Aid and stop motion animation!”