Emma’s story

Emma Roulston was a participant in The Helmsman Project’s Summer 2015 program and “came out of it totally changed”. Her journey is one that inspires us...

 “I was uncertain about joining The Helmsman Project. It seemed a bit scary. But looking back, I can say words like ‘extraordinary’, ‘amazing’ and ‘incredible’ just don’t cut it - there are no words to describe how I feel about The Helmsman Project.”

 A vibrant young woman, Emma said before the program she would only like working in a team provided she was in charge. At times, she was also rude to others. But through coaching and supporting her to develop self-regulation and social skills, she increased her awareness of herself, her behaviour and the impact on others.

 “My coach helped me to stop and think about things before I act or speak. She helped me become aware of the things I’m doing and improve my communications with others. Plus I am now fine with not being the leader and letting other people have a go.”

 “Another aspect that has changed in me through The Helmsman Project is my confidence. I am now more willing to try new things and better equipped to overcome my fears. One of my goals was to be comfortable speaking to groups of more than five people… and at graduation, I spoke in front of nearly 100 people!”

The support and positivity of those involved in the program, combined with the challenging environment that stretched her limits and broadened her perspective of the world, were for Emma the best parts of her experience.

 “If someone is going through a bad time and goes on The Helmsman Project, I can guarantee they will come out of it feeling so much better. The support given by everyone in this strange, scary environment is so important. My coach played a massive role in this. Everyone was nice, supportive and positive. That really made a difference.”

The Helmsman Project volunteer coach, Jo Topfer, supported Emma through her journey and witnessed her transformation: “Emma showed enormous courage and determination and a real commitment to actually exploring herself and facing challenges… She demonstrated a great capacity to accept feedback, internalise it and do something about it.  She really used the experience to create a better future for herself and I am tremendously proud of her.”

 Emma’s story is beautiful and humbling ... It is journeys like these that inspire us, at The Helmsman Project, to keep making a difference.

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