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Phil Young

"I had completely lost all confidence in myself, lacked direction and was desperate to not relapse into old habits."

Before I joined the Academy my life was a mess, I’d been expelled from school, become heavily involved in substance misuse and ended up in rehab, all by the age of 18. I had completely lost all confidence in myself, lacked direction and was desperate to not relapse into old habits.

After working at a warehouse, Phil chose to give education another try and enrolled onto the Level 3 course at South Essex College. “The Academy completely changed my life, not just because it gave me a new direction to follow but it altered my mindset and approach to work. I realised that I could really achieve something great, if I just put my mind to it and channelled my energies in the right way, I could change my life! I honestly couldn’t have made this shift of direction without the support of the tutors at the Academy and the knowledge, skills and confidence that the course taught me. By the end of my year at the Academy, not only had I pitched to panels of entrepreneurs, found a new confidence in myself but had realised and achieved my ambition to run my own business.”

Phil is now running two businesses, the first; Bird Marketing was the website design micro-business which he started whilst at the Academy and the second; Mode Living, is a new online home furnishings business which has just been launched.