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Nineteen-year-old Jae found themselves at a crossroads after completing sixth form. Despite receiving an offer from Canterbury University, Jae lacked the confidence and life skills necessary to feel ready to pursue higher education.

Challenges Faced

Struggling with self-doubt , Jae grappled with the decision of whether to pursue their offer at Canterbury University. Feelings of anxiety were holding them back and they couldn’t imagine that they’d be able to fully throw themselves into the university experience in the same way as some of their peers.

Our Approach

Jae’s journey with the Youth Employment Service began after a referral from the Woodbridge Job Centre. Working closely with Simon, they set out to build the confidence and life skills they felt they were lacking. Simon’s recommendation of the Team Programme proved a instrumental in helping Jae overcome social anxiety and develop essential teamwork and communication skills.


Completing the Team Programme was a significant turning point for Jae, enabling them to navigate social situations. Through Simon’s guidance, Jae discovered opportunities for community engagement, including involvement in arts projects at Dove St Studios Open Arts Sessions in Ipswich. Exposure to these experiences, coupled with Simon’s encouragement, ultimately helped Jae to reconsider their decision about not attending university.


Overcoming self-imposed limitations, Jae’s journey saw them develop confidence and a newfound sense of purpose. Their experience shows the importance of seeking guidance and stepping out of your comfort zone to unlock new opportunities. We wish them the best as they head off to Fresher’s Week to start their university experience in Canterbury!

East Suffolk