Darren was 23, a father of two, and had been claiming Job Seekers Allowance for nearly two and a half years before he joined the Street League Academy. In his interview, Darren was very open about his past and how his family life had been chaotic, resulting in him walking out of secondary school prior to taking his exams, and being placed in the care of his grandmother.

Whilst on the Academy Darren showed great maturity, had an infectious personality, and staff could see he had great potential but had never been given the breaks. Darren quickly established himself with his peers, and mentored and supported the younger participants who clearly looked up to him.

Darren started to become more proactive in his approach to finding work and it quickly paid off as he secured a one-day work trial for a barista role with Costa Coffee. Despite his best efforts, it was not to be as he came second in the interviews and did not get the job. However, instead of feeling deflated, his motivation grew and he continued to send out applications. Darren did not have to wait long as an opportunity came up for a room attendant position with Travelodge. At around the same time, Darren was also offered a place at Edinburgh College to study NC Sport and Fitness which he was keen to take up. Darren applied himself fully for his interview with Travelodge, and used his previous interview experience with Costa to his advantage. Darren was delighted when he found out he'd been offered the job, and Travelodge also agreed to adjust his working hours to fit around his studies.

Looking back on his time with Street League, Darren said: “It used to always eat away at me that I had no qualifications when I knew I was more than capable of achieving them. Street League has helped me to get two SQAs, a full-time job and a place at College where I can finally put my past to bed.”