Ashleigh Hudson left school at fifteen without a qualification to her name. After living off her father for a while in Coventry, she moved up to Sunderland to live with her nan and started the demoralising process of applying for jobs she knew she wouldn’t get.
After working a brief placement at a hotel, and not being kept on, Ashleigh finally found work selling shots of alcohol to the city’s stumbling night creatures as they slurred and staggered from bar to bar.
“That’s all I felt I could do. That’s the only way I could work, really,” she tells IBTimes UK.
“Every time they rang me to do a job I went in. I was working from 8 o’clock in the evening until 5 in the morning. I didn’t have a proper place to sleep, so I was working that long, and going home, but I didn’t have a bed or anything. Life was rubbish. That job just took everything away from me.”
Read my feature on youth unemployment in the UK.