Rebecca experienced anxiety and depression for many years and was feeling a lot of pressure through school. She contacted The Prince’s Trust as her anxiety prevented her from answering the phone or leaving the house by herself.
“I was sick of doing nothing. When I saw everything that The Prince’s Trust offered, I knew that this was the answer. There were so many options – it was the perfect way out for me.”
Rebecca completed a Get Started with Outdoor Activities, as well as Fairbridge and Team, before going on to a Get Hired employability day, where she interviewed with Gap.
“The Get Hired day was massive. I’d never done an interview before. Even though I had done lots of preparation and mock interviews, it was still daunting. I was very nervous, but I managed to charm them! They offered me a second interview and I had a job by the end of the week!”
Rebecca has now worked at Gap for over a year and a half, at their flagship store. She didn’t assume she would want to go further than her local store, but she loved the buzz at the store, and she is excited to work there. She is now furloughed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
In mid-February, everything started to change globally, and everyone started talking about the virus. It was a strange and unsettling time for Rebecca working at Gap.
“We have a very multi-cultural workforce, and we had people who are from Italy who started feeling uncomfortable, which then changed the atmosphere at work. People were staying away from each other, both staff and with customers. We couldn’t be as close as possible.”
Gap have been very reassuring for Rebecca and her colleagues, and Rebecca has felt confident that her role is protected. At first, Rebecca was on full pay but the store was closed, and after two weeks she was furloughed.
It has definitely affected my mental health. There is a sense of uncertainty across the whole world. A lot of people at work were wondering about what would happen to the business, but Gap have been so transparent, and I have no concerns about my role.
Now furloughed, Rebecca is living with her parents and coping well despite the strange circumstances. She has to remind herself that she definitely still has a job
“It’s been very bizarre. It almost feels like being unemployed. Work is very important to my routine, with the sense of purpose and the social element of being around people. Everything has been pulled from underneath us. I know I still have that job, which is reassuring but there is uncertainty around not knowing when we’ll be back at work. I know that the minute Gap know, they will let us know.”
Living with family, Rebecca is feeling like things mostly feel normal, but she doesn’t have much motivation.
Everyday I try to think that it’s just a day off. I tried baking, it didn’t last, and I’ve dug out old musical instruments, that didn’t last either. I am definitely annoying my family with my bad singing, I bet they wish I would go back to work!
According to Rebecca, young people need reassurance that this isn’t permanent. She wants to remind others that things will go back to some sort of normality and that support from friends and family is essential. “The most important thing right now is connection”.