Jess is 16 years old and is supported by Young Somerset through working with a youth worker and doing work experience within the Business team. She was referred to Young Somerset through an ‘education other than at college’ (EOTAC) plan as it was identified that she had not started college and may need additional support from an advocate.

Jess identifies as neurodiverse and was originally reluctant to engage as she was worried that a professional would not see or understand her as an individual. She felt she would struggle to attend mainstream college but assumed she had no choice and would have to force herself to try and attend.

“After deciding it was in my best interest to meet my new youth worker, I hadn't realised that letting her into my life was one of the best decisions I was going to make.”

Jess had regular check ins with her youth worker, which helped to create routine, and having support with her education aspirations and work experience. Through working with the business team, Jess had an opportunity to experience a work setting in a way that was mindful of her support needs.

Jess was supported by Young Somerset to sit exams for two GCSE’s and has applied for a college placement. She can now confidently express what she wants to do with her future and how she will get there. This has seen an improvement in all aspects of her life, including confidence, learning, and reducing social isolation.

“With patience and perseverance the youth worker didn’t give up and found ways to support Jess in making strides to set and achieve goals, both academically and personally. It’s safe to say that both the youth worker and Young Somerset have been life changing for Jess" - Parent of Jess

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