Ian joined Headliners when he signed up to be a part of the NCS, Keep Doing Good programme in 2020.

Before joining Headliners Ian lacked in confidence self-esteem and had no positive future ambitions. On transitioning from NCS to Digital Transitions Ian felt he had grown and wanted to continue and have the support from Headliners to continue working on himself. Building his confidence, understanding his own self-worth and continuing being part of something bigger. Catherine has supported Ian from the age of 9 years old since he went into her care.

Ian commented: ‘I came into care when I was 6, school found out my home life wasn’t safe and contacted social. Since I moved into Catherine’s my life has been so much better. I have more stability and more family than I did before I joined Catherine. I was just like an ordinary kid and struggling with life and college. Since joining Digital Transitions my lecturers have found a great improvement in myself and now, I have the confidence to help out within sessions. I also help them out a lot more regularly and my lecturers are now using my newfound confidence and helping me grow more’.

Catherine mentioned: ‘Since joining Digital Transitions Ian has changed in a great sense, he is a lot more confident in himself and able to voice himself were as prior he couldn’t, he would scream and shout and use bad language. Since joining Digital Transitions, he has changed where he is more relaxed to express how he feels and is now able to express more clearly on how he feels in a nicer way and I’ve seen a massive changed with him and had no run ins or screaming matches since before Christmas when he started the project’.

Initially Ian Joined Digital Transitions to help build himself up and get to a stage where he feels comfortable in his own skin. To gain new employability, photography and life skills to take forward and to continue to pursue his passion in photography in the future. Hoping to one day open his own business showcasing his artwork through the use of pictures. Ian has excelled, only being with Digital Transitions for a few months and already getting involved in other projects. He became a member of the youth panel in recruiting the new Head of Operations manager and is now meeting up every Thursday joining other young people volunteering with the Local Action Group project.

Ian smiled: ‘I have improved since taking part in sessions with Digital Transitions as previously I was really anxious and shy going into classes and since my confidence has grown and even my lecturer has told Catherine that I have improved dramatically and that I’m even offering my support and assistance to my classmates now. I have personally learnt a lot more skills within photography and learning about rules of thirds and learnt some great stuff about money management in the life skills session. I have learnt about interview techniques and in college we are doing mock interviews and since I have already improved on my skills through the sessions with Digital Transitions, they want me to help out. The sessions have been fun as we have a bit of a laugh it’s not like school. we do mental health wellbeing skills and if I’m feeling down or low David totally understands and listens. He offers me great support and has helped me out massively’.

Catherine commented: ‘Yeah, I definitely think the sessions are great and have a positive impact on all the young people including Ian. He talks about it all the time, that’s how I know he is enjoying it and he is asking everyone and talking all about Digital Transitions and trying to get other people to join to get the experience and new skills. He has found the lockdown difficult and with headliners projects it has kept him going. Since his sessions with David on photography, he can tell me loads of new things he has learnt and wants to go out and take pictures which is really good.

With his life skills sessions he’s learnt he has to do things for himself and he hates doing laundry and its part of life. The money management sessions have really helped him on why he has to pay bills and the reasons why, not just me saying he needs to pay it and a lot of discussions with David he has realised a lot about why it is important to learn these skills. Ian is actually talking about his future now, which is great as this has taken a long time for him to do so. As he thought he wasn’t good enough to do anything and thankfully the sessions David runs Ian has now found a new lease of life and forward thinking about his future. David is very easy to talk to, no problem whatsoever.

I have no hesitation to contact David about any problems and he has given Ian loads of great pointers and information and he is more than happy to work alongside myself to help reinforce rules and respect when Ian goes off the rails. He has been great with Ian to the point Ian looks forward to every Monday for his sessions and Wednesday for his wellbeing calls with David’.

Ian has come a long way since finding his newfound confidence and self-esteem, that he is now looking into applying for jobs to help and support other young people and guide them on the right path. Also, he is looking into the possibilities of further education once he completes his current college course, which previously wasn’t an option. With finding his new self-worth Ian has come to terms that his own road in life has endless possibilities and many doors open with many opportunities. I asked Ian and Catherine what they would take away and cherish from Digital Transitions and if so, would they recommend the project to others. Here is what they had to say...

 Ian: ‘I’m glad I have joined Digital Transitions because now from the help and support I have received and how much I have grown as a person. I want to take that moving forward and be able to offer my help to other young people who have been/in care to find their inner voice and confidence as David helped me find mine. I would recommend Headliners and all the projects they have to offer as the skills I have learnt, and the experience has been great’.

Catherine commented: ‘Yes Definitely! I thought Ian’s anxiety was bad, but it got worse, and he was very anxious because he thought that was the end of the project with the pandemic, but since the sessions were moved online and continued, he was really happy. Definitely with his phone calls, as he didn’t tell me about his phone calls until a few weeks late, but he loves them and looks forward to. Once the pandemic is over and I can get out and see my friends and other foster carers I will be letting them know about Headliners and what they have to offer’.

David, the lead project officer commented: ‘Since working with Ian, I have seen nothing but progress. He is very eager to get involved and has some amazing creative ideas. Ian has grown from strength to strength each time he participates in sessions and it is such a joy to see him finding his own feet and develop into a pleasant young man. His confidence levels have exceeded my own expectations and seeing him happy in his own skin and understanding that he is worth a lot more than he thought words ca not describe. It has literally been a pleasure to work alongside himself and Catherine each week and I look forward to continuing on’.


 This project is one strand of the Digital Transitions project. This project was made possible by funding from Lloyds Bank Foundation.