Friday 5th January, 2018

Michael's Story

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Michael’s story:

Romsey Mill has worked with young dad, Michael, across several of our programmes for over 10 years. He now helps us by volunteering with our Young Father’s Worker:

"My first contact with Romsey Mill occurred when I was in Year 10 at school in Cambridge. My teachers had identified that I would benefit from the vocational courses that Romsey Mill was running, through its Youth Development programme, for young people who might be struggling with some aspects of school and helping give them confidence for what comes next such as, preparing for exams, getting a job or going to college.

The course was great and the leaders from Romsey Mill were brilliant, always there with big smiles when they picked us up form school in the minibus (even though we used to hide our faces when in “the Sunshine bus”), and they were constantly being very positive and helpful.

The course was very practical but we also were given opportunities to do new things and enjoy new experiences – for example we went on a residential trip staying in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, with no phones or anything. But it was great -- we learnt how to do rock climbing, mountaineering and raft building. I’d never done anything like that before – I enjoyed it so much and gained confidence in doing these new things. In Year 11, Romsey Mill arranged work experience for us; I remember spending time as a groundskeeper at Anglesey Abbey, building shelters and insect houses. Romsey Mill also helped me by giving me practice job interviews, which really prepared me for the real thing.

I went to College to study Childcare, and so had less to do with Romsey Mill for a while, but in my second year at College my partner at the time fell pregnant and so I came into contact with Romsey Mill again, with their Young Father’s worker, as part of the Young Parents Programme. I continued with my course, and got a job at a local nursery.

In 2014 my current partner had a baby We were all living with my parents and siblings, in a 2 bedroomed place, which with 9 of us was cramped and not ideal for a young family, but Ben, the Young Father’s Worker helped with housing benefit and we now have our own place, which is great and my daughter can play with friends

When my partner returned to work, last year, I became a ‘stay at home’ dad. The support I have had from Romsey Mill has been brilliant and wide ranging, from advice on relationships, such as improving communications my ex-partner and supporting me through mediation; to attending a number of courses that have taught me useful skills such a s cookery, nutrition and budgeting, and sewing, which has been really helpful when making and altering fancy dress outfits for my daughter.

Romsey Mill’s Young Father’s Worker, Ben, also helped set me up with the Prince’s Trust, to get stared with learning about robotics and also get a place on a course to learn about game design. These courses have been interesting and have also helped to build my confidence in things like making public presentations, which I’ve put into practice when speaking with MPs and Councillors during the recent Children’s Centre Consultation.

My daughter now attends Romsey Mill’s Pre-School and recently made the transition from the group at Romsey Mill Centre for 2 years olds to the group at Ross Street for 3 year olds. She really looks forward to the sessions and loves going ‘to Romsey’.

Earlier this year, I offered to help Ben, Romsey Mill's Young Father’s Worker, and now volunteer whilst my daughter is at Pre-School. I help Ben with administration and networking.

It’s great for me to be able to give something back after all the ways that Romsey Mill has worked with me and helped me and my family to look forward to a brighter future together."


To enable us to continue to work with young people like Michael and his family, please donate to our Christmas Appeal here


Give #ABetterPresent for #ABrighterFuture






Donate to our Christmas Appeal here

Give #ABetterPresent for #ABrighterFuture