A young woman who was struggling to find employment due to her additional needs has been supported by a youth project in Pendle.

Having recently completed a diploma in travel and tourism, Kayleigh Murren was struggling to find employment, which was inclusive to her needs, and began to suffer from poor mental health as a result.

Kayleigh was referred to Pendle YES Hub, which offers bespoke provision for young people who may need support with mental wellbeing, as well as barriers to employment.

She was also introduced to mental health services provided by Lancashire MIND, where she completed a six-week course that encouraged her to participate in physical activities offered by the Hub to bolster her mental wellbeing.

Participating in activities like badminton, walking and cycling not only boosted Kayleigh’s confidence, but also introduced her to peers facing similar barriers.

Kayleigh was also able to access provision specifically for those with low confidence, such as a drama programme delivered by Burnley Youth Theatre.

Through attending these sessions, Kayleigh felt that she was able to find an environment which accommodated and supported her needs, saying: “Pendle YES Hub has helped improve my confidence and has enabled me to meet people with similar experiences to me.

“Taking part in activities at the Hub has really improved my mental health, with the structure of regular sessions also helping my autism.”

With her mental wellbeing improving, Kayleigh felt ready to begin considering employment.

Working with Pendle YES Hub’s youth engagement worker, Shunem, she was able to access qualifications and courses such as basic lifesaving skills and workplace first aid in the hope of enhancing her CV.

Now, Kayleigh is working with Shunem to enhance her confidence and interview skills using the in-house employment support provided by Pendle YES Hub, and is set to begin an eight-week course with Pendle House which is designed to support those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are seeking employment.

Stephen Barnes, chair of Nelson Town Deal, said: “Getting young people aged 16-24 into employment and training is a number one priority for the Nelson Town Deal.

“It is heartening to hear Kayleigh’s story and know that the project is helping her grow in confidence and skills.”

Thanks to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), Pendle YES Hub is able to provide targeted provision for 16–24-year-olds who are struggling to find employment or would like support with mental or physical wellbeing.

Pendle YES Hub is based at 39-41 Scotland Road, Nelson, and is open Monday to Friday, 9am – 3.30pm.

For more information, visit https://www.activelancashire.org.uk/projects/pendleyeshub