I found high school really hard. I was bullied from around Year 8 through to leaving school. The bullying happened all the time, which made me behave in ways that my teachers saw as ‘naughty’ but I wasn’t, I just didn’t know what to do about the bullies.

A lot of the time, I’d go to school but not turn up to class and act up. My teachers ended up moving me into the behavioural unit at the school but they also moved the kids that were bullying me into the same unit so it just made things worse.

I did my GCSE’s but didn’t get good grades. I tried to get better ones through other training providers but I couldn’t take to them. In the end, Careers Wales referred me to Llamau.

I felt really nervous at first and thought ‘This probably won’t work, just like the others’, but then my tutor, Kevin, called me. He’s really nice. He introduced himself, told me a bit about himself and the work I’d be doing. He asked about me and my interests, so I felt more relaxed. After speaking to Kevin it felt like maybe I might get somewhere this time.

I started Step into Education during the lockdown. It’s actually been a good thing for me though. I’ve never had much confidence, so being able to learn at home and focus on the work I’ve been set has helped. I think, without the learning, I’d just be sat around bored, watching TV or daydreaming. Apart from some WIFI issues, I’ve really enjoyed the paperwork, reading and learning.

I’ve learnt a lot of new things and I’m now doing so much better with my reading. I couldn’t read much at all before but now I’m enjoying trying to read more often. I’ve actually just completed my workbooks and sent them to Kevin today.

If I’m ever stuck on a piece of work or just have a question, I can call Kevin and he always answers and helps me. He emails me a lot as well to make sure I’m doing ok. Speaking to Kevin has helped to grow my confidence. I like that I can hold a conversation with him, yet I’ve never met him. That’s a big step for me.

I’m open to what’s next for me. I have more learning to do with Llamau's Step into Programme, which I’m looking forward to, but in the future I’d potentially like to go into catering or work with animals. I’ve always loved animals, but then I also like watching my dad and step mum cooking in the kitchen.

I do feel a bit nervous about going into a classroom again when lockdown is over, but I think I’ll be fine. I understand more now about how to communicate with others, so I’m confident I’ll be able to do it when that time comes.