Just a few years ago Gavin Clark was going through a tough time, jobless, homeless and with a baby on the way.
Now the 24-year-old is mentoring young people in similar situations by co-ordinating the Prince’s Trust team programme, based at Worksop Fire Station.
Gavin completed the programme himself as a volunteer, and now he is leading the next generation, working for Notts Fire and Rescue.
The 12 week personal development course is for people aged 16 - 25 who are unemployed.
Gavin said volunteers take on community work, workplace experience, certificates in health and safety, food hygiene and manual handling, and push themselves hard on a residential activity trip.
The current team, made up of 12 young people, has just returned from a week-long trip in the Peak District.
“They did rock scrambling, abseiling, caving and a night time adventure walk,” said Gavin.
“A lot of it is about confidence building. They have all bonded and are getting on well together as a team.”
After 12 weeks they will hopefully be ready to start work or training. Some even have a job lined up.
“I came on this course as a volunteer and it opened up doors for me,” said Gavin.
“I love this job because I can help hem gain confidence and change the public’s perception of young people.”
But what do the volunteers think about the programme they are on?
Laura Jenkin, 22, said: “The activities are not what I would normally do but I have thrown myself into it. I’m really proud of what the team has achieved, we’ve all helped one another.”
Ed Roberts, 22, is using the scheme to get more involved in youth work. He is co-ordinating the team’s plan to decorate the front of Carlton Youth Centre. “The scheme has changed my life for the good,” he said.
Other volunteers want to get jobs in construction, landscaping, mechanics and fashion retail.
• To find out more about the programme, or to offer help or a work placement, call Gavin on 07967690795 or email email@example.com