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Mia’s story

Youthbuilders’ Stories

Moving cities with her mother to escape domestic violence didn't help Mia. Anxiety, depression and the loss of close friend led Mia to a dark place. But she pulled through and became a Runner-up in the Youthbuild UK Young Builder of the Year Awards 2022

A troubled background

Mia was exposed to domestic violence at a very young age and escaped with her mother, siblings, a few clothes and some bags of toys.

The move from London to Sheffield didn’t work for Mia. She was bullied at school, suffered anxiety, depression and self-harmed.

When a close friend was killed in a road accident Mia’s own health spiralled out of control. She spent time in psychiatric hospitals, suffered abuse while there and experienced flashbacks, panic attacks and suicidal thoughts.

The road to recovery and a career in construction

Against this troubled background, with considerable drive, resilience and determination Mia has now embarked on a career in construction.

On leaving hospital she enrolled at a training college. Her mental health stabilised and initially she focussed on improving her functional skills in maths and English. But she soon discovered she had a natural talent when it came to practical lessons.

The construction activities became really important for Mia, something she didn’t want to miss no matter what other challenges she had to face.

Her college tutors said she made excellent progress, especially in painting and decorating. “The progress Mia has made, considering where she has come from, is so incredible and so inspirational,” said Nick Clayton of Sheaf Training College, Sheffield.

Mia has achieved a CSkills entry Level 3 Introduction to Painting and Decorating and hopes that this will be the beginning of a brighter future.

Her fabulous attitude and determination impressed the judges at the Youthbuild UK Young Builder of the Year Awards 2022 and earned Mia a Runners-up prize in the 14 -18 year old category.

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