Lincoln youth who battled drug addiction comes clean to help others

A young man from Lincoln who escaped drug addiction is looking ahead to a brighter future thanks to a local charity, and is now helping others find their paths to success.

For over three years Shaun Taylor fought addiction. During this time he said he struggled to secure employment and found himself turning to drugs to escape from daily life.

Things took a turn for the worse when he got in trouble with the police, and this gave him the wake-up call he needed to seek help.

Shaun, who has few qualifications, said he had little hope for his future, but fast-forward to today and he is clean, employed and helping other young people to beat substance abuse.

For all this, Shaun, now 21, thanks The Prince’s Trust and their Team programme – a 12-week personal development course that helps unemployed young people gain the skills and confidence to find a job.

He said: “I found myself in a difficult situation. My confidence was so low and I kept on returning to drugs as a means to get away from reality. I didn’t know which way to turn.

“I met Prince’s Trust staff at the Jobcentre Plus and they asked me if I wanted to join the course. I realised I had to change my path and I laid my cards on the table.”

Shaun, now 21, grew in confidence during the programme. He also supported his peers while he came to terms with his addiction, attending rehabilitation sessions on top of the programme hours.

During the course, participants go on residential, undertake a community project, complete vocational experience and attend workshops to develop confidence and employability skills.

After finishing Team, Shaun secured employment at Majestic Bingo Ltd where he is undergoing training to become a Bingo Caller. Shaun said he has the ambition of applying to the army in the future.

He also spends his free time volunteering at Lincolnshire’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation service to help other young people beat addiction and get on the right track.

He added: “I can’t thank The Prince’s Trust staff enough for helping me to get where I am today. When I did my presentation at the end of the course, I realised how far I’d come and now I am determined to grasp every opportunity with both hands. I am learning a lot in my job and it’s helping me to set further goals for the future.”

The Prince’s Trust recently marked the 25th year of its Team programme with a nationwide campaign supported by Barclays with people tweeting their Team selfies.

Members of the public have been helping the trust celebrate the programme’s 25th year by tweeting team selfies – known as ‘Teamies’ – with the hashtag #lovemyteam. Prizes are being awarded to people using the hashtag throughout the month.

People can find out how the trust can help them by visiting the website here.