When Seveci Navelinikoro, known as Nav, joined the Prince’s Trust team at the Education Training Collective as a Help for Heroes volunteer, he had no idea where it would lead.
Looking to retrain after leaving the forces due to injury, the idea of helping others to develop new confidence and skills appealed.
Offered a paid position just three months later, Nav never expected to still be a key part of the college group’s award-winning Prince’s Trust team some five years later.
Now calling for young unemployed people to embark on the latest Team programme in Catterick, he not only gets to lead young people on to brighter futures, but he gets to do it in his hometown.
With the 12-week Prince’s Trust Catterick Team programme, starting this month, Nav said: “It does feel extra special to be helping young people in the area where I live.”
Not only that but the Teams complete a range of tasks and challenges, including a community project, which means helping out good causes in what he describes as his “own backyard”.
He said: “My aim is to help inspire and motivate the young people, and to show them that they can make a positive change to the wider community.”
It’s a formula that clearly works as during his five years with the college group he has seen dozens of young people moving on with renewed focus to education, training or employment.
Offering hope and motivation comes naturally to dad-of-two Nav, after all, his life was changed forever when the former soldier was blown from his vehicle by an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2012.
He suffered a mild brain trauma, loss of hearing in one ear and nerve damage to his lower back, left hip, knee and ankle. But with support from the military and Help for Heroes, and a newfound career with the college group, he got his life back on track.
A former sportsman, he also found new ways to enjoy sport, going on to compete at international level and winning an impressive four Invictus Games medals.
He said: “I have been through a lot and I think the young people respond to that, after all it’s about developing resilience.”
The Prince’s Trust Team programme is a free course offering unemployed young people, aged 16 to 25, the chance to take part in a series of activities and challenges to build skills and rediscover their direction, including a work placement and adventure residential.
The next course starts in Catterick on Monday, September 20.
For more information or to get involved call 07436 795882 or visit: www.stockton.ac.uk/princes-trust