A former rugby player from Hawick who overcame adversity to launch a new career has been rewarded for his determination at an awards ceremony in Edinburgh.
Arran Hogg, 20, attended the Waldorf Astoria Hotel-Caledonian to receive recognition for his work on the Tomorrow People’s programme, a venture supporting young people back into work.
His young achiever of the year award is for young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who have overcome personal barriers to move into employment, education or training.
Arran’s dream had always been to become a professional rugby player, and he played for Hawick until 2011, when he suffered a severe back injury.
Arran was hospitalised for two months, and his dream of a career in rugby was over.
Around the same time, his mother was also in poor health, and he had to spend a lot of his time caring for her.
But when Arran approached Tomorrow’s People, it helped him to identify what it was he wanted to do.
Arran was interested in joinery, and he was advised to apply for a course in construction in Edinburgh and soon received a letter offering him an unconditional place.
Tomorrow’s People works with those who have fallen between the cracks, many of whom are completely detached from the labour market and do not access support from government services.
Its programmes ensure participants develop the skills, self-belief and resilience they need to get and keep a job.
Arran said: “I want to say thank you to Tomorrow’s People. I was over the moon and excited to be moving from the Borders to Edinburgh and also at managing to secure a job at EuroHostel to support myself. I was really chuffed to have even been nominated for this award.”
Ayliffe Rose, a Tomorrow’s People adviser, said: “I quickly realised how low Arran’s self-confidence was. He had suffered a lot of knockbacks, which had resulted in a negative effect on his physical and mental health.
“The Tomorrow’s People programme really worked for Arran. The activities and challenges, combined with job-related support, helped to boost Arran’s confidence and eventually led him into securing a job which he is now thriving in.”
Martin Brookes, chief executive of Tomorrow’s People, said: “Of the young people we help across our programmes in Scotland, 74% are not receiving any statutory support to get into work. Up to 60% of them come from workless households and 20% of them are care leavers.
“We refuse to give up on those who have been failed by other services.
“We have a track record of success and 85% of the young people who go through our programmes get back into education, onto a good training programme or into training.”