Matthew* first came The Benjamin Foundation after moving away from his parent’s house in another part of the country. He regularly made the journey to Norfolk to spend time with his girlfriend and also to train at the kickboxing gym of which he was a member. This began to cause problems for Matthew and impacted his mental health; it was causing him waves of lows and stress as he tried to make his life work.

Matthew was put forward to The Benjamin Foundation and found residence at one of our ‘Future Builders’ project houses with other young people. Matthew explains this gave him “more stability” and allowed him to manage his time more effectively.

He was soon introduced to Joe, The Benjamin Foundation’s Job Coach and began the process of looking for work. Conversations centred around the present and what plans Matthew had for the future. Together, they worked on a CV for Matthew to use for his applications for positions of employment. With his commitment to kickboxing, Matthew wants to become a qualified Personal Trainer. Options have been put forward by the Job Coach with the intention of pursuing one of these course opportunities when the time is right.

Matthew has had two different jobs since working with our Job Coach. The first job wasn’t quite right for Matthew and his mental health at that time, but soon after he found a role working as a Labourer with flexible working hours. This has worked out much better for Matthew as it has allowed him time to train, manage his mental health and keep in a positive mindset.

Matthew says: “Since being supported by The Benjamin Foundation, I have been helped in lots of way; I’ve been supported emotionally and working on managing my expectations and learning how to deal with negative situations.”

“I have been taught how to take care of myself and manage the things that adults do themselves and it has helped me to feel more independent and confident in myself.”

Matthew is an amateur kickboxer with ambitions of turning pro. He has understood the need for alternative plans to make sure he has options with his future, which is why he has been proactive in working as a Labourer – and has the opportunity to obtain a bricklaying qualification should he continue his employment. He also wants to teach kickboxing and be a qualified Personal Trainer, which he acknowledges ties in very well with his personal goal as an athlete.

“I love kickboxing and martial arts in general.” Matthew continues.

“Being able to pass on my knowledge as I get better and more experienced is something that I would feel good about and want to do.”

Matthew also knows that after he retires from competition it is important for him to be involved in sport in some way. He says coaching will keep him focused and give him new goals to achieve when that time comes.

Matthew says he is now “more excited and more relaxed about the future” knowing that there are options for him and different paths he can take.

“I am thankful to everyone who has supported me and been patient with me. It has helped me so much and I have a routine I now enjoy.”

Matthew continues to work with The Benjamin Foundation and is supported in his accommodation. He continues his work as a Labourer and to train as a kickboxer, with his next amateur bout pending for 2023.

With your support, we can do even more to help young people like Matthew in Norfolk and Suffolk to lead successful, independent lives.

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*Name has been changed.

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