A Limavady woman has spoken of how the Prince’s Trust helped change her life after the pain of losing her baby daughter three years ago.
Kerry-Louise Hassan has been praised by staff at the Prince’s Trust after completing the Team programme in Limavady.
Assistant Team Leader Kathy McLaughlin, who worked closely with Kerry Louise said: “Getting to the end of the 12 weeks is a massive achievement for any of our young people, but it is something that Kerry-Louise is particularly proud of, and rightly so.”
For Kerry Louise, who was presented with her certificate this week, getting to the end of that 12 week period was a huge achievement.
After losing her baby daughter, Grace, who was stillborn at 38 weeks, Kerry Louise said she underwent the darkest period of her life.
“I could barely even talk to anybody and I was in a really dark place,” she explained.
“My mental health really suffered and my family and friends were worried about me. I was devastated after what had happened and there were times when I didn’t think I would ever get through it. I had people there to support me but it was just a horrible horrible time. I barely left the house at all. When it came to doing courses or anything like that I just couldn’t stick at it.”
When Kerry Louise’s cousin mentioned the Prince’s Trust course to her last year, she admitted she was sceptical and unsure about whether she’d be able to do it.
“I really wasn’t sure at all when my cousin told me about it but I went along and I just didn’t look back after those first few days. It just took that one day for me to go in and when I met Kathy and Denis that was it. When I’d started things before I was always changing my mind and I couldn’t settle but I loved being out in the community and meeting people and when we got to visit a care home here in Limavady I enjoyed that so much.”
Kerry Louise says she now wants to pursue a career in caring and work within the community.
“I’m looking into courses and hopefully I’ll start volunteering soon. I’m just really positive now and feeling positive about the future and I didn’t ever think that would happen.”
Assistant Team Leader Kathy said: “When we first met with Kerry-Louise it was clear that she was very nervous and worried about how she would cope, especially in a new group. One of the first things she said to us was that if she did sign up to the course that she would probably only last a few weeks as she really struggles to see things through.
From the first week it was clear that this was a chance for Kerry-Louise to start to build herself back up; to meet new people, and to be part of something different from anything she had ever done before. A few weeks in and the changes were just amazing. She was starting to feel more positive and making plans for the future - something she hadn’t been able to do for a long time.”
For Assistant Team Leader Kathy and Team Leader Denis at the Prince’s Trust, Kerry-Louise sums up everything the Team programme tries to achieve.
“The Team Programme is there for young people who feel that they would like to make their current situation better but are maybe unsure of how to do this,” said Kathy.
“Team members have the opportunity to gain new skills, a recognised qualification, develop their confidence and much, much more in a relaxed and informal environment. We just love getting to see the difference in these young people from the beginning to the end of the 12 weeks. Some of the stories are truly inspiring and we couldn’t be prouder.”
Kathy, Denis and the team at the Prince’s Trust in the North West now want to hear from more young people who want to try something new, as Kathy explained:
“We are currently recruiting for our Strabane Team which will be starting on Monday January 22 at the North West Regional College in Strabane and myself and Denis will be back in Limavady around May time. Young people who are interested in taking part in a Prince’s Trust course who would like to get in touch can do so via our Facebook page (Prince’s Trust Team Northwest NI) or if they would like they can contact Denis on 07527389281 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.”