When Marissa first started to come to SPACE2..., she was 16 and had recently left school without many qualifications and had since been unemployed with no real idea of what she wanted to do with her life. 

Initially, we met her within a big group of her friends who came in to chill out, take part in activities and use our salon facilities. Over time, Marissa started visiting regularly, just for something to do and to meet new friends, and staff at SPACE2... got to know Marissa very wellMarissa felt she could trust youth workers at SPACE2... and started to confide in them about her worries for her future as she couldn't decide what she could do now she had left school. Marissa's relationship with her parents had deteriorated as they were worried about her being unemployed for so long and she was often rowing with her Mother. 

SPACE2... staff listened to Marissa and talked to her about her interests and what she liked doing. Marissa loved using the salon room at SPACE2... and had a keen interest in beauty therapy but she lacked confidence and didn't know how or if she could apply to college, much less get a job so she could earn her own money and end the rowing with her parents. 

YMCA Newcastle employment stat 
Youth workers supported Marissa to put together her own activity plan for her evenings at SPACE2... to help her reach her goals. Staff gave her 1-1 help to submit an application to a course for a level 2 diploma in Hair and Beauty therapy at the local college and supported her to prepare for the entrance exam, which she passed with flying colours. Once she had grown in confidence, youth workers introduced her to the Duke of Edinburgh award and to SPACE2...'s Job Club. The award required planning her own activities such as a fashion show, volunteering in the kitchen at a care home, developing skills and two expeditions. Youth workers showed Marissa how to search for and apply for jobs online, write and improve her CV and she practiced several mock interviews with her friends at the Job Club.  

Marissa got a part-time Christmas temp job in a clothes shop in Newcastle City Centre, and last month received news that she would be kept on as permanent staff. She continues to study hard for her College course and hopes to get a job in a salon once she is qualified. She continues to volunteer in our beauty room, passing on her skills to other young people at SPACE2.... She is now getting on very well with her Mother who is delighted with the change she's seen in Marissa.  

Marissa says "SPACE2.... staff believed in me. They gave me a lot of confidence and now I am loving my job and well on my way to passing college. SPACE2.... is lethal"

To support Marissa, please donate to our appeal