Casey, 19, joined the HITZ programme in February 2019, looking for a fresh start. After struggling with mainstream education, Casey was keen to develop key employment skills and boost his CV.
When he first met the HITZ team, Casey was really excited to see all of the opportunities available to him, and the unique and supportive learning environment that the HITZ programme provides for learners.
Since being on the programme, Casey has transformed his self-belief and self-confidence, developing some vital skills which will help him be successful in the future.
Casey said: “I’ve got a lot more confidence, particularly since we went on our NCS trip.
“In a new environment outside the classroom, I learnt how to work independently as well as in a team. I also gained better communication skills, helping me get on with the staff and other learners.”
It is not just Casey’s skills which have been boosted through HITZ. By working together with The Vineyard, a homeless drop-in centre in Richmond, Casey has been supported to open a bank account, apply for universal credit, and look for a safe and sustainable place to live.
Casey said: “The HITZ programme has given me so much support.
“Whenever I have a problem, I know I can go straight to our tutors Danny and Mark who will always help me to sort it out, which is something I was missing before I came to HITZ.”
When he leaves the programme, Casey is very keen to stay connected to with Harlequins and The Foundation, perhaps even returning to work at The Stoop.
Mark Kilgallon, Education Officer for The Harlequins Foundation, said: “‘Casey’s progress whilst being on The Harlequins Foundation’s HITZ Programme has been amazing.
“He has an excellent attendance and is always the first to put his hand up to volunteer and help out.
“The transition he has made with his social skills has also been fantastic. From someone who when he first came to us was suffering in large crowds, to now be able to speak in pubic.
“He has been a great learner to have on the course.”