Apprentice Story- Simon

The following passage is Simon’s* own description of his story prior to arriving at Jericho:

I got told my mental health issues were caused by my childhood upbringing (Simon’s parents were both drug addicts and his father was a serial offender and served multiple custodial sentences). I also got told my high levels of anxiety make my stammer 90% worse.

I studied at South Birmingham College from the age of 14 because no school would take me. At 14 I was in a pre-16 unit. This unit was for kids that couldn’t get into schools because of exclusions and other reasons. Then at the age of 16 I was studying ICT at South Birmingham College and getting in a lot of trouble outside college. I was getting straight distinctions in my first year at college. But in the second year it went from bad to worse. I was capable of doing the work, I could have been the best in the class but I just gave up and stopped going college the majority of the time.

At the age of 18 I stopped going out altogether because I was getting into too much trouble, so I stayed in and dropped out of college and became anti-social. I was in my room for over 23 hours a day. I didn’t go downstairs to talk to my Nan. The only time I left the house was to go to Asda and this was at 3am in the morning.

 I became obsessed with computer games because I had so much idle time on my hands. I became suicidal, I started to take anti-depressants and let myself starve because I didn’t want to go into the kitchen where I might meet my Nan. I was afraid she would judge me and tell me off for not doing anything with my life.

Then a support worker from the Prince’s Trust introduced me to a company called Remploy. I went there and on the first time going there they told me about Jericho and their Apprenticeship Programme. A few days later I went for an interview at The Jericho Foundation, I was really nervous but they offered me a place.

Simon spent 18 months at Jericho before progressing into a job with Birmingham City Council. 

* Name has been changed

Find out more about Jericho Apprenticeships here.

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