Before linking up with Wolves Foundation, 13-year-old Amber was anxious, short of confidence, had no friends and was being bullied.
Despite having very supportive parents, she initially didn’t know where to turn, before eventually breaking down in front of them.
From there, starting working with the Foundation at one of their Premier League Inspires sessions at school, life started to improve.
“I was just scared to talk to people and didn’t have any confidence,” Amber explains.
“I didn’t have any friends and kept on being left out, and once I started being bullied, I didn’t know what to do.
“I spoke to one of my teachers at school, and went onto the Foundation’s programme at school.
“It just made a difference right from the start and talking to people about my problems really helped me.”
The PL Inspires programme is one which is designed to help teenagers and young adults get the best out of their futures.
Staff head into schools and work with the young people to develop their personal skills and attitudes through a series of regular face-to-face group sessions, mentoring, workshops and social action projects.
“We’ve been working with Amber for a few months on PL Inspires and the amount she has grown is second to none,” says Kurran Kullar, schools officer with the Foundation.
“At first, she was really quiet and nervous and didn’t engage but now she is bossing me about telling me what to do.
“She has gone from being in her shell and with no confidence to being in full control, knowing what she wants to do with her life, and is a different person from when we first started working with her.”
From PL Inspires, Amber’s involvement with the Foundation has grown.
She has also attended the Changemakers programme, designed to empower young women and has been volunteering at Girls Hubs sessions.
This season she will also be part of the group of ball assistants for Wolves’ men’s first team games at Molineux.
Her progress with the Foundation has also been replicated in the school environment, as detailed by pastoral support officer Lisa Marsden, whose role is to support students with their social, emotional and mental health needs.
“When I first met Amber, she was lacking in self-confidence and having some friendship issues but, since being on PL Inspires, she has come on massively,” says Lisa.
“The programme has been brilliant for the pupils, different to the normal curriculum and giving them experiences they wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to enjoy.
“Amber’s self-confidence has grown and she just seems so much happier in general.”
“This is what PL Inspires is all about,” adds Kurran.
“Bringing the best out of young people like Amber so they can fulfil their potential in the future.”
The improvements which Amber has been able to make to her life have been very much welcomed by her family at home.
“Amber was being picked on and held it all in quite a bit, but one day she just broke down and, as a parent, that was difficult to see,” says her Dad Bruce.
“We told her to be a strong person and not to fight back, just to ignore it.
“Then Wolves Foundation came along and have transformed her mentally, socially and physically.
“Since linking up with the Foundation, she has definitely changed as a person – she is happier, more social, has more energy and is going out and mixing with friends more.”
As for Amber herself, who has benefitted particularly from working with the Foundation’s cohesion lead Nikki Lal, life is now so much more positive.
“Talking about my feelings to someone and putting them on paper has really helped, and now I’ve got more friends, by my side and helping me through,” she says.
“I am really happy with what Wolves Foundation have done and just want to say thank you to all of them.”