Young Sheffield woman who cares for seriously ill parents secures dream job in NHS

Talent Match manager Jo Booth presents Sarah Foreman with her award

Talent Match manager Jo Booth presents Sarah Foreman with her award

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A young woman who cares for her mentally ill parents says she is a 'changed person' thanks to an employment programme in Sheffield.

Sarah Foreman, whose parents both have schizophrenia, was plagued by anxiety to the extent she barely opened her curtains before joining the Talent Match scheme a year ago.

Talent Match award winners

Talent Match award winners

But the support she has received since then gave her the confidence and the practical assistance needed to secure a dream job in the NHS as a medical receptionist.

"When you normally get a job you worry about travel and stuff but having Talent Match - it just took all the worries away," she said.

"It makes you a stronger person having that kind of family, as everyone's nurturing you. Especially when I had a lot of anxiety it helped my confidence. Before Talent Match I barely opened my curtains. I'm a changed person."

Sarah was just one of 24 success stories from the initiative whose achievements were celebrated at an awards ceremony earlier this month.

Talent Match manager Jo Booth presents twins Jack and James Mckinney with their awards

Talent Match manager Jo Booth presents twins Jack and James Mckinney with their awards

The winners, selected by the coaches who mentored them, were honoured for varied accomplishments in volunteering, education, training and employment.

Talent Match is a wage subsidy programme which funds employers taking on new recruits.

It helps 18 to 25-year-olds who are not in employment, education or training to build skills, find work and even develop their own business ideas.

Since January 2013, the programme has supported more than 1,600 people in the region, through hubs in Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster, Bolsover, Bassetlaw and North East Derbyshire.

In 2016, it helped 177 people into employment, with 131 having begun volunteering and 442 re-entering education.

Talent Match manager Jo Booth said: "We're so proud of the achievements of the young people on the Talent Match programme and we wanted to recognise that at our annual awards ceremony.

"Many of the young people lacked confidence when they started the programme and for some, collecting their award in front of a room full of people is a huge accomplishment."

For more information on Talent Match, visit www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk.

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