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Lola’s story

Youthbuilders’ Stories

Lola's start in life wasn't great. There was a family history of abuse of alcohol and drugs. Lola has battled her own mental health demons and drug issues. But she found her forte studying at Preston Vocational College.

A challenging start in life

At a young age Lola was put on a social care plan and had behaviour and attendance issues at school. As she grew, she faced challenges of substance misuse, severe mental heath issues, medical needs and safeguarding concerns.

Her primary school days were more stable than those that followed. She was kicked out of school and her ‘rock’, her Nan, passed away. Although badly affected, Lola says it meant she learnt that while she couldn’t control what life threw at her she could control how she responded.

Battling back

During all the turmoil in Lola’s life, at the age of 13, she became on of the youngest female footballers to play in the English Football League with her school team, something of which she is very proud.

Although she’s faced many challenges she considers herself to be bright and from an early age was fascinated by how things work. “Everyone lives in a house but few know how they work or how to fix things,” she said.

Lola found her forte at Preston Vocational College (PVC). She was interested in construction skills and wasn’t phased by the idea of making her way in a male dominated industry.

At PVC she completed a Level 1 City and Guilds course in Construction, with a distinction in bricklaying. Her tutors were impressed by the high standards she set herself and her commitment to her studies. Three times a week she travelled from Morecambe to Preston to attend PVC. Her tutors say a lot of students would have disengaged if they had to travel that far.

Looking forward

Lola hopes to move on to an apprenticeship in bricklaying or plastering. She’s excited to see where her career in construction will take her and one day wants to be her own boss. She started work experience with Wilmott Dixon in summer 2022.

“I want to be able to earn enough to to support myself, be independent and have the life that my parents couldn’t,” Lola said.

Lola was Runner-up in the Youthbuild UK Young Builder of the Year Awards 2022 in the 14 – 18 year old category.

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