Before joining the YES Project, Houda was feeling the impact of COVID-19 and the national lockdown. She was struggling to keep motivated as she was unable to leave her house, leaving her feeling frustrated and bored. Houda openly says that the inability to find work and socialise with others was having a negative impact on her mental health, with depression beginning to set in.
“I was extremely unhappy with my lack of purpose and I wanted to do something productive with my time.”
Houda connected with Highfields Community Association (HCA) through social media, and that’s when she learnt about the opportunities that could be available to her as a participant on the YES Project. Houda had already completed a course in Graphic Design at college and had a passion for photography and videography, so when Fatima from HCA reached out, she was excited to hear about the YES Media Project.
Houda is open in saying that she joined the YES Project, specifically the YES Media Project, because she wanted to work on her pre-existing skillset and access one-to-one employment support too. Houda speaks highly of the support she received from HCA staff, and credits Fatima and Norman for their exceptional support in helping her with job searches and supporting her personal development.
“With the support of HCA staff, I felt empowered to make suitable choices. I felt involved in any decision making and always felt supported.”
Whilst on the YES Media Project, Houda has been working with others* to create a short film. She has been involved with storyboarding the idea, as well as turning her hand to directing, filming and acting to be able to support the project. Working on this short film has given Houda the opportunity to not only learn new skills, but provide insight into the steps that are involved with producing video content.
“Our facilitator, Dwight, is super cool and full of energy and enthusiasm – he motivates myself and others to explore our skills and passion.”
Houda is open in saying that before joining the YES Project, especially during COVID-19, she began to feel like she lacked any purpose, which impacted upon her mental health. During the first lockdown, she started to feel anxious and depressed, but shares that starting the YES Project has benefitted her as it provided her with a routine and a sense of achievement. With the YES Project’s support, Houda has developed her creative skills and has realised she would like to focus on a career path that showcases her talents.
Whilst on the YES Media Project, Houda built her confidence and feels a lot more comfortable with others. She made friendships with her peers and enjoyed the mentoring she received from the team based at HCA. Something that Houda highlighted was the respect she felt she got from the team, saying that she felt her views and contributions were always welcomed and valued.
Speaking of her time on the project, Houda said:
“I would definitely recommend that any unemployed young person try it, even if they’re unsure. You’ll most likely gain skills that you would’ve never thought possible.”
Houda looks forward to continuing her journey with more clarity on what she’d like to pursue as a career.
*All activities undertaken by participants on the YES Project are done so in accordance to Government guidance. Care is taken to ensure that all environments are COVID-19 secure and any small group training sessions are delivered with a decreased maximum capacity to ensure all social distancing guidelines can be adhered too.