I am quite a shy, quiet person and my voice was not being heard by any of the professionals I came into contact with. All that changed when I began working with Extern, though.

I can remember my first visit to Roscor - by the end of that first residential visit I felt that the staff at Extern valued me as a person. I could tell that the work they were doing with all of the young people was more than ‘just a job’.

"They genuinely care and put lots of time and effort into all that they do. They are always honest too, and they do what they say that they’ll do. I had many opportunities to take part in new experiences with a group of other young people."

Sharing these new experiences together meant they became the closest friends I have ever had. My friends from school, my friends from college… none of them were as close to me as the people I met at Roscor. I have so many special memories from my stay at Roscor.

On one of the days I even jumped into the water from the cliffs – I’d been along a few times before, and never did it, but on this day I just went for it! It was scary, but great and I felt like I had achieved something brave and new.

Now, although I can still be quiet, I feel that I have more confidence and can ‘be loud’ at times too. I feel more able to try new things and to enjoy myself with other young people.

“Because I was supported to try new experiences and encouraged to take that step out of my comfort zone, I have achieved so much more than I ever thought I could. I am at college now, and doing well at my studies.

Close up portrait of a happy young woman showing peace sign in selfie

I even went on a college trip to Europe for over three weeks, living in a different country with a different language and lots of new people and places to see, which I enjoyed. Now I know what I want for my future. I know that I want to help others and share the kind of help I got at Extern with other people who need it.

Working with Extern and going to Roscor was such great craic, making new friendships, sharing experiences with others and never feeling alone, as I was out with the group, enjoying fun times.

Everyone at Extern is so positive and full of fun. Sometimes I think about where I would be now if I hadn’t worked with Extern … what would I be doing? I know that with Extern my voice has been heard and that I am truly cared for.”

Jessica, (17), Roscor/Youth Support