Dale’s Story – How Newcastle United Foundation Helps Young People Rediscover Their Confidence
One year ago, Dale Graham from Byker, had never had a paid job. At 21 years of age, and suffering from ADHD, Dale struggled to gain employment – finding it difficult to manage his emotions in stressful and high intensity social situations.
After years of struggling, Dale felt that he lacked support and opportunities. That is, until, he discovered Newcastle United Foundation and our Employability team.
Funded through our partnership with Byker Community Trust, the programmes are designed to help long-term unemployed young people overcome barriers into work.
Speaking about the course Dale said: “I never used to communicate very well, I was always very quiet and I used to sit away from everybody because I wasn’t good at working with new people.
“The programme has really helped my confidence, as well as how to work in a team.”
From the start, Dale threw himself into the opportunities offered through the programme and engaged with as many employers as he could.
As a result of his hard work, and after one-to-one support from our youth coach, Dan Hancock, Dale’s confidence and self-esteem sky-rocketed. His mannerisms improved, he made the choice to dress smarter for events, and was able to reap the rewards!
Dan said: “When Dale first came to us he found it hard to concentrate, and he had trouble communicating with us and his peers.
“He’s put in an incredible amount of work during his time with us and to see it pay off with all the successes he’s had is really satisfying.”
After playing a lead role in organising a residential trip to London to see an England match at Wembley, Dale secured himself a work placement at Crown Plaza in Newcastle.
Since then, he has gone from strength to strength. Through working with our Employability team he gained a Level 1 in Employability with Northumberland College as well as a Go Lead Sports Leadership qualification.
Perhaps most impressively, Dale took his love of basketball and new found confidence to new heights, qualifying in Level One Basketball England Coaching, on top of taking up refereeing and table officiating opportunities.
“The coaching has given me extra skills now that I can transfer onto other courses. It’s just about working hard.
“Now I get to help people become leaders.”
Dale’s exploits did not go unnoticed and in May this year he was given the Inspiration Award at the Talent Match North East Awards. But he’s not letting the success go to his head.
“The awards are good but I’m not really fussed about them. It’s more about what I can do with other people.”
Looking to the future Dale has his sights set on his Level 2 in basketball coaching, as well as taking on peer mentoring opportunities with the Foundation to help others in a similar position to himself a year ago. A challenge he is more than ready to take on.
“It takes a lot of hard work to get where I am and I’m still not where I want to be yet.
“If I’m helping other people, that makes me happy.”
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