Ryan Owen: Building Confidence

Finding your place in the world can be difficult. For Ryan Owen, this challenge has been tougher than most, but Saints Works is providing him with a home.

Originally from Newcastle, 19-year-old Ryan has been in foster care for most of his life. But, at 18, he left there, struggling to settle into supported lodgings.

Picking up his story, he explained: “Life was sweet in foster care, but I had to leave and move into supported lodging. I found it really tough. I was really down, I wasn’t eating and the overall image of myself that I had was really low.

“Someone I lived with said I should come to street football and that led me to Saints Works.”

IMG_1630Saints Works supports 16-25-year-olds, who are not in education, employment or formal training, to discover and achieve their goals.

Nine weeks into the course, Ryan has made new friends and the support from his peers as well as Saints Foundation staff has also seen him thrive.

He added: “I wasn’t sure about the project before I started but it has really built my confidence. At Street Football, playing with the same guys every week has allowed me to open up – this was something that before I didn’t feel comfortable doing.

“Saints Works has pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me feel equal with others. Before, I never really had that.”

Such is his commitment to the programme, Ryan travels from Romsey by bus to St Mary’s four times a week – something he says he wouldn’t do if he wasn’t enjoying himself.

The Saints Foundation programme also gives these young people the chance to visit local employers, such as at Asda and David Lloyd.

With three weeks left on the project, Ryan is hoping to pursue his interest with stewarding once he has finished with Saints Works.

If you are interested in joining a future cohort of the project, or want to know more, please contact David Warnes via email at dwarnes@saintsfoundation.co.uk.

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