AFTER struggling to get a job and battling depression at what felt like a hopeless situation, a charity’s work placement scheme has helped a young Southampton woman embark on a new career.

Krystyna, now 24, gained a place on the Daily Echo-backed Life Chances scheme, run by the Rainbow Project, in November 2012.

The Life Chances scheme helps disadvantaged young people in Southampton who are struggling to find work.

It puts them in one-year work placements where they are mentored and supported as well as given work-related training.

Krystyna was given a teaching assistant role at Southampton City Council’s Compass School.

“It was really good,” she says. “The placement was the longest job I’ve ever had. I had my ups and downs but got through them and came out better.”

Krystyna was worried about getting another job when the placement came to an end but thanks to her experience and with support from the Rainbow Project, she has gained a nursery assistant apprenticeship which she started at the beginning of the year.

“I thought it was going to be hard to get another job. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to and would go downhill. If it wasnt for the Rainbow Project, I’d be very depressed because I was before I started with them. I wouldn’t be working. I couldn’t get anywhere before because no one would give me a chance.

“My life is 100 times better now. I’m happier and have a life now!”

Laura Coleman, who runs the Rainbow Project, said: “This experience has hopefully helped Krystyna realise what she can do when she puts her mind to things. I hope she continues to believe in herself because she has proved what she can achieve when she does.”

Cllr Matt Tucker, Southampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Leisure Services, added: “It’s great to hear that Krystyna, who was sponsored through the Rainbow Project’s Life Chances initiative, has successfully completed her placement at Compass School and is now progressing to an apprenticeship.

“The council’s partnership work has opened the door for the Rainbow Project to provide placements with major developers under our employment and skills plans, and with our recently published Apprenticeships Action plan giving us a renewed focus I’m confident that there will be more success stories to come.”

Krystyna will continue to receive support from the Rainbow Project in her new position to help ensure a successful transition into the workplace.

  • The Rainbow Project is always looking for employers to sponsor work placements.
  • For more information about the Life Chances scheme, visit or call 023 8022 3525.