Having grown up elsewhere in the country with his mother, stepfather and siblings, George*, now aged 19, struggled at school. He sat his exams but his results were not fantastic and he ended up leaving education.
Soon afterwards, he met people who had a negative influence on him and he became involved with alcohol and drug misuse and criminal behaviour. This was a very difficult time which greatly concerned his family.
When he was age 16, George moved to Norfolk to live with a family member. The hope was that this would be a move which would have a positive impact on him, but due to many problems, the move didn’t have the desired effect.
The situation was extremely tense with constant arguments and things became physical. At this point, George had enough and walked out. That night he walked for miles in the dark before eventually getting a bus to another town to escape the situation at home.
However, this meant that he had no stable place to live and he alternated between sofa-surfing and being street homeless for a couple of months before contacting a local organisation who referred him for emergency housing.
During this time, George completed a year at college studying for a Level 2 qualification. He passed this so decided to stay on in order to complete another course. However, he attended this course for just a couple of months; it wasn’t engaging enough for him and he was beginning to find the regular commute to and from college – a distance of over 40 miles – difficult. On top of this, he was still misusing drugs.
The turning point for George came when he was housed elsewhere in the county through our ‘Heart and Home’ scheme, which provides accommodation for vulnerable young people in the home of a Host who is trained and supported by us. We were able to find George a planned home in a better location for him. Not only did he have his own independent annex, but a keyworker to offer him support, advice and guidance through this difficult period. Through collaborative working, we were able to ensure his needs were met.
“Amy is amazing, helpful, organised, driven, determined and good at her job.” George says.
With a passion for music, George liked to spend much of his spare time at festivals and gigs with his friends. When it came to exploring career pathways by meeting with Sharon, our Job Coach, he was honest from the outset in that his ideal job would be weekdays, as supporting his friends at gigs at weekends was really important to him.
Doors have opened for me to improve my general quality of life and improve my chances of a stable career.
Young person supported by our Job Coach
He has been working with the Job Coach for 14 months. During this time he and Sharon have explored options of further education, training, short courses, apprenticeships and employment. Sharon helped him with his CV and supported him to complete job application forms – but he struggled to find something to capture his interest and spark enthusiasm to move forward.
After exploring lots of different avenues for training, George agreed to look into the Door Supervisor Level 2 Award (RQF). He soon realised that if he obtained his SIA personal licence, he could attend events and gigs and get paid at the same time. This could be ideal for him. With support from Job Coach, Sharon, he applied to the Eversheds Sutherland bursary fund to pay for his training.
He successfully attended the five day course and passed the exam to gain his certificate. He then applied to another bursary fund, available through the End Youth Homelessness campaign, to pay for his personal licence. This would allow him to work as an accredited Security Officer.
He is now employed by a security company and has been working at a local football club as a security guard and is hoping to secure more jobs in the future.
“I’m happy with the support the Job Coach has given me.” George says.
Additionally, as George’s life became less chaotic, he made significant progress in other areas of his life – he is living more healthily and making a real effort with understanding food, nutrition and meal planning.
George continues: “Doors have opened for me to improve my general quality of life and improve my chances of a stable career.”
*Name has been changed
The Benjamin Foundation impacts the lives of so many people – it’s an amazing charity and a huge inspiration.