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In the midst of an economic recession, we're all in it together,
but some are in it deeper than others.
With one in five young people struggling to find work,
and many dependent on benefits, Britain's youth is being hit hard.
17-year-old Shelby lives on the south side of Glasgow.
'When I was younger, I wanted to be, like, famous.
'Like, I wanted to be an actress.
'But acting lessons and stuff, it costs money.
'I just expected, like, I would go to school, and then as soon
'as I left school, somebody would just discover me and I would be this
'big, famous actress within a week, but it's just not how it works.
'Like, you don't...
'you don't know anything about, like, life, like how hard stuff is.'
Shelby spent 12 months on benefits...
..but now she's working five days a week,
and getting used to the new routine.
'Like, cos I don't have any experience,
'I've never had a job before.'
I messed up in school and all that, so, like,
most people won't take me for a job, so this is my one chance
to just...get there, so...
'For a year there, I was like sleeping
'all day, like, constantly just lying in my bed all the time, just lazy,
'cos I didn't have any reason to get up out of my bed.'
Shelby's job is actually a six-month work placement
arranged by a local charity.
'£55 a week is not really that great,
'but it's only like stacking shelves and stuff,
'but I'm happy to be doing that cos at least I'm working.
'Going out and I'm doing something.'
Despite working 30 hours a week, Shelby's financially no better off.
The £55 she gets from the placement
is the same as she would have got on Jobseeker's Allowance.
I hope it'll be worth the work and I'll get a real job at some point.
Obviously I'm still going to make mistakes,
but I'm going down the right path.
Things became hard for Shelby when she got kicked out of home.
She ended up in a hostel,
and when she moved here, she had nothing.
But I would just, like... I had two quilts
and my teddy, and pillows and that,
and I would just lie them there, and...sleep there.
'And then, cos it was quite cold then,
'cos this would've been, like, November,
'I was, like, sleeping on the floor and the cold hurts your back.
'And then, like, I upgraded to this, but this wasn't much better.'
As soon as you sit on it, it's like...
way down here!
For the first couple of days I was like,
"Oh, I don't care, this is my house."
Cos I just thought that everything would just be sorted
and I'd have a nice house in no time, but...I don't.
'I spend a lot of time up here, just looking at everything.'
Don't know, it's sad that I'm 17
and, like, just looking out the window and...
Do you know what I mean? I don't think there's anybody else my age
sitting doing this all the time...
55 is what I get.
That's all I've got to live on.
And then bread's a pound and milk's a pound.
I've got bread, milk, a fish finger thing, erm...
cereal, chips, crisps, juice, cold meat and cheese.
That comes to 14.50, so it leave me £40.50.
'Before I done the budgeting I'd just go into a shop
'and then I'd be, "Oh, I want this, I want this,"
'and then I'd spend, like, £20.'
12.50, I've left myself, for fags.
I probably could get more food with that and stuff,
but fags is about the only luxury I get.
Well, this week I'm getting myself socks.
Cos once I've got everything
I've only got, like, a couple of pound left, so...
Obviously everybody gets skint but, like, I'm like always skint,
like, even when I get paid I'm skint.
I run out of money usually a day or two after I get paid.
To furnish her empty flat, Shelby applied for a Community Care Grant.
She was initially refused,
but eventually given just enough to buy a bed, fridge and microwave.
But for the last ten months, she's had no cooker.
Cos it's more expensive, this stuff for the microwave.
Like, these chips, like, it's two for 2.50,
whereas if I was to get chips that you can make in the oven,
you get, like, two big giant bags for 2.50
and it's, like, do you know what I mean?
So, it'd be saving me money and there'd be more chips,
and...it'd be better.
My auntie's got a cooker for me but I just need to get, like, the money
to get it in a van up.
I'd be a lot better off if I was to be able to, like,
just cook proper meals, like, the way real people do.
I'm always hungry, like, even if I've ate I'm still hungry.
So I'm just, like, "Right, you're just greedy,
"you don't need more than that, you don't need more than that," so...
If you drink too much coffee you get, like, this sick-y feeling
and you just don't want to eat, so, if I drink that then...it helps.
For Shelby, things are looking up.
-The right, Shelby, aye?
-Er, no, left.
A colleague at work, with a van,
is helping her collect her aunt's old cooker.
-Been lying here for months, Shelby?
-Oh, thanks a lot, man.
-All right, straight through?
Er, you can go that way.
-Now, you take care, right?
Shelby has just discovered that the cooker has no power cable.
Ugh, just a bit...
I don't know, because I want... I wanted to go make my soup but...
..I need to wait until, I don't know.
Oh, there's just... there's always something,
there's always, always something.
Shelby would like a safety net of savings for the future,
so when things go wrong, she can afford to get what she needs.
Like a cooker wire.
Credit unions are similar to high-street banks,
but are better able to support people on low incomes.
Shelby is going to see about opening an account.
-What age are you just now?
You can join the Credit Union when you're 16,
but you can't borrow money.
Legally, you can't borrow money until you're 18 years old.
Er, you'll need two forms of identification,
so do you have a passport or a driving licence?
I don't have any photographic ID.
-Have you got anything with your photograph, a student card...?
If you want to stand here by this door... Yep, just here.
Then we'll take your photo...
The Credit Union are used to helping out people in Shelby's position.
Like saving them the cost of an ID photo.
It's dead adult-y, going to a Credit Union.
There's your photographs there, Shelby.
Definitely want to make an account.
Even so, it will be a challenge for Shelby
to find the £6 needed to open the account.
'I think my life could've been a lot easier...
'if I would've just behaved myself
'and, like, I wasnae always cheeky to my dad
'so then I wouldnae have got kicked out.
'I'd have probably been at, like, college
'or going on holidays and stuff
'cos I would've had the financial support.'
After not seeing each other for six months,
Shelby decided to make contact with her dad.
She wanted to show him how much she's changed.
'My dad came up and fitted my cooker in.'
It was good, like, just,
doing the cooker with him and, like, wiring it up.
It was good, like...doing something with him.
Seeing her dad leaves Shelby reflecting back on her childhood.
You're only, like, a child for so long and then...
..Like, it's up to you.
You make what you want to make of your life, really.
I don't feel, like, bad about where my life is.
It's not ideal, but I'm still only 17,
I've got a lot of time to...
..make what I want to make of my life so...
Don't know, it's just, like, a kind of temporary position - hopefully!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd