When Millie-Rae first arrived at one of our TLG education centres, her life was defined by anger and anxiety to the point that she even struggled to breathe. But her time at TLG offered her the release that she so desperately needed.
"Before TLG, I just kept getting excluded. I found it hard to fit in with other people, particularly the other girls. I felt different and I didn’t feel like I could be around other people.
I struggle with anxiety. When I’m around a lot of people it makes me really anxious. Before, at mainstream school, it made me so nervous I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I’d be worried about everyday things but mainly I was focused on other people and I felt like nobody liked me. It really knocked my confidence.
I never asked for help either. I’d just argue in class and then I’d get kicked out. Out of class, I’d get into fights too. Conflict after conflict resulted in me being kicked out of my school completely.
I was out of school for about five months. I was just at home sitting around doing nothing. At first I thought it was a free ticket and then I realised how bad it actually was. I think at the time I thought to myself, ‘oh, it’s fine. I’ll be alright in the future. I don’t need school.’ But then, as time dragged on, I started to realise how important school was.
More than anything, I needed someone to talk to.
When I arrived at the TLG Education Centre, at first I was really nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. But quickly I realised that the other students knew what I was going through. Everyone was really nice to me.
At TLG, the staff made the time to sit down and talk to me. I didn’t have the pressure of being surrounded by hundreds of people like in mainstream school. Instead, it was small and everyone was always happy, picking me up when I was angry. I learnt so much about being nice to other people.
I think Rosa was the main member of staff that I connected with. Whenever I did anything good she always used to point it out and it made me feel a lot better. Whenever I did something wrong, she’d always push me to be the best version of me. Whenever I was angry she’d give me the space I needed but also she’d talk to me about it. The whole team were just really, really helpful.
When I got back into mainstream school, I decided it was a fresh start for me. I used to always think I wasn’t smart enough and that I didn’t fit in. But TLG helped me to be a new person. I was able to connect with people, to open up, to make friends. Now, I’m always listening in lessons, my grades have gone up and I’ve really planned out my future. I want to be a lawyer because I feel very strongly about defending innocent people. I’ve even been in touch with a law firm in Manchester. They said that when I leave school they’d take me on as an apprentice and see how I go from there. I’ve proven that I’m very good at arguing but instead of just arguing with other people, I’d like to put it into a job instead!
I was invited to meet the Queen too. We went down to London to meet her and only certain people were allowed to go. She’s very small and she’s not really a talkative sort of person but she asked how I was and how I am at school. There’s no way the Millie-Rae before TLG would have been invited to meet the Queen. Back then I was just immature. I didn’t care about anything. But being at TLG helped me find the real me.
I still struggle with my anxiety sometimes. But now I’ve learned ways to cope and to help myself remain calm. If you’re distant with people and don’t open up about your feelings, the anxiety can really build. When I started meeting new people and being more adventurous things really changed.
My family and I have started going to church and that’s really helped too. I believe that through God anything can be overcome. I’ve come so far and I think it was part of God’s plan for my life that I went to TLG.
They changed my life around.”