Lisa has been supported through the Power2 Aspire programme to build her self-belief and find tangible ways to achieve her dreams of attending university.

Power2 Aspire provides 1:1 support to young people over the age of 18 who were previously in receipt of free school meals, are in further or higher education and have aspirations for a professional career.

Here she talks about the help she’s received and the impact it’s had.

When I was first introduced to Power2, I was on the brink of not completing my level 4 and 5 qualifications in Sports Massage, facing the challenges of caring for family, housing instability and financial issues. The burden was overwhelming. Despite tirelessly seeking help and support through various channels, I felt utterly abandoned. The very organisations designed to assist people like me seemed unable to provide aid, often due to lack of funds or being oversubscribed.

It was during this bleak period that Andrew [Power2 Aspire Programme Manager] contacted me, introducing himself and the Power2 Aspire programme. We had an honest conversation about my aspirations and the practical steps needed to achieve them - two aspects that often felt worlds apart. Among those aspirations was the dream of attending university, something that always seemed like an unattainable fantasy, given my commitments and the absence of a support system.

Methodically, we addressed each of my barriers, both perceived and real. The Power2 team have continued to stand by my side in my professional and personal journey. I no longer feel isolated in my pursuit of success. Andrew’s guidance stems from a place of sincere concern and empathy, coupled with practical resourcefulness. His reliability, consistency, accessibility and commitment to keeping his word are equalities that I deeply value.

Power2 has played a pivotal role in challenging my self-limiting beliefs. The team pushed me to think outside the box and encouraged me to pursue my dreams - something I had never considered feasible given my circumstances.

Andrew guided me in crafting my personal statement for university. It marked the beginning of a profound shift in how I perceived myself and my circumstances. His guidance made me believe for the first time I could genuinely achieve my dream of attending university.

Andrew’s support and genuine desire to see me succeed have been both invaluable and unwavering. To me, he is not just a mentor, but a source of inspiration and guidance. I have learned so much from him, and now have a future to look forward to with renewed optimism. I cannot speak highly enough of all the help and support I have received, especially at a time when I felt lost and without hope.

Lisa will be attending university in September to study osteopathy.