When Mason arrived for his first Hand Brake Turn class at our north-west site in Braybrook, it was difficult for him to see hope for the future.
Mason’s school had referred him to Hand Brake Turn as he was disengaged and experiencing mental health challenges that led to violence and anger management issues.
It took some time for Mason to come out of his shell. Initially shy and timid, he soon showed great passion for cars and motorbikes, and was eager to learn how to fix them. The Hand Brake Turn team could see the impact that his past and family experiences were having on his ability to concentrate and build for the future. They supported him as he continued to work through these issues and family setbacks that led to absences from the course.
Despite all these obstacles, Mason achieved mini goals, every day, which started to have a real impact on him and how he was feeling. Learning in a safe and supportive environment gave Mason the strength needed to dig deep, showing great resilience and commitment. He also secured work experience for one day a week at a local workshop and his passion for vehicles grew as he practised the skills he was learning through Hand Brake Turn, impressing someone who would become his future employer.
With support from our youth workers and the guidance of Hand Brake Turn trainer Yahye, we watched Mason emerge from a person who struggled to find hope and would lash out in anger and emotion to being an excitable, enthusiastic young man who was setting goals to become a motor mechanic.
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When Mason told the Hand Brake Turn team about his goals, we worked with him to create a resume, supported him with interview practise and provided references for job applications.
Mason graduated from the course with great marks, full of enthusiasm for what the future held for him for the first time in his young life.
Upon applying for a part-time apprenticeship at the same workshop where he was completing his work experience, his future employer was keen to have him on board and let him know he was successful thanks to his hard work, perseverance and resilience at Hand Brake Turn.
Mason said that Hand Brake Turn was a very supportive and encouraging place where he learned far more than he expected. He shared how much the team helped him build his confidence, providing the ongoing support he appreciated when things got tough. Learning bit-by-bit from non-judgmental and caring staff and having the chance to work on his goals brought the best out in Mason. Securing a job in the automotive industry was brilliant. Learning how to manage his emotions and navigate life successfully has been a game changer for him, and obtaining employment was a true reflection of how far he’d come.
Hand Brake Turn is just one of our programs that supports vulnerable and at-risk children and young people. There are other young people like Mason who need our support. With your help we can.