young woman in garden

Sharnie's story

At age 14, Sharnie’s education looked like it had hit a dead end.

Sharnie struggled at school. Being one of seven children, she had difficulties concentrating on her studies. The problems she faced led to her being sent to a pupil referral unit, but this didn’t help either.

For a time, it looked like Sharnie had run out of options.

This posed a serious problem - a lack of education can severely limit young people's future life chances, putting them at risk of homelessness in the future. 

On the recommendation of her tutor, Sharnie joined the Newcastle YMCA, a project funded by LandAid that provides an award-winning alternative education programme. This move proved to be a life-saver.

“If I wasn’t here I would be nowhere”

When Sharnie joined the YMCA, she found that she liked all the workers. She learnt to settle her problems without arguing or giving up. In the year that she’s been there, she hasn’t missed a single day.

For the first time, Sharnie has found herself enjoying learning. As well as staying on top of literacy and numeracy, she has discovered a new passion for music. 

She’s also earned herself an ASDAN award, which has developed her skills for employment and personal growth. She says: "if I wasn’t here I would be nowhere”.

Sharnie now has her eyes on the future, which is looking much brighter. She has ambitions to go to college or join the army and is even considering becoming a youth worker.