Ryan lands an Apprenticeship with one of The Benjamin Foundation Furniture Stores
When non-essential retail re-opened in April following lockdown, sixteen-year-old Ryan*could never have imagined that it would open doors for him too.
Currently a resident at one of The Benjamin Foundation accommodation centres, Ryan was walking through his local town centre when he saw one of our stores and decided to have a browse. After seeing a canvas he would like to buy, Ryan chatted with staff to ask if he could get a discount as he lived with The Benjamin Foundation. One thing led to another and he ended up asking about volunteering opportunities with the store.
Unbeknown to Ryan, his Support Worker had also enquired about the same opportunity for him so it was serendipitous and just a few days later Ryan arrived for his first volunteering shift.
“I was really chuffed on my first day.” He says, “It was the first week of shops re-opening after the lockdown so the shop was quite busy.”
“I was quite new to the area, I had previously dropped out of school and college didn’t appeal to me. My recent application for the army hadn’t worked out and, with it being two years before I can apply again, I wanted to do something to show that I’ve got the mentality that I’m willing to learn and not just sit around waiting for opportunities to come to me.”
Having lived at one of The Benjamin Foundation accommodation centres for just two months, Ryan had already developed a good relationship with our Support Workers and they were thrilled to hear he had landed the role under his own steam, and it wasn’t long before Ryan had even better news when he learned he would be able to become an Apprentice for the store.
Ryan continues: “I spend two to three days a week as the passenger in the van helping to deliver furniture and collect items that people have donated. The rest of the time I’m in the shop, helping on the shop floor making sales or out the back cleaning and restoring furniture ready for sale.”
“I’ve already improved my communication skills and teamwork. This is just the start of it – I’m hoping to improve a lot more.”
“The best parts of the role are going out in the van, seeing new places and talking to new people. It all look great on my CV and shows that I’m willing to do stuff. I want to come out of it with good skills.” He adds.
“The teams at the store and the accommodation centre are all really friendly and they are helping me a lot. I’m grateful for all the help I’ve been given by The Benjamin Foundation.”
Your support helps local children and young people to finally feel hopeful of a better future. Donate your pre-loved furniture to your local furniture store and you can help more young people like Ryan.
Norwich Furniture Store T: 01603 661921
Dereham Furniture Store T: 01362 692392
Holt Furniture Store T: 01263 713721
King’s Lynn Furniture Store T: 01553 824296
Bury St Edmunds Re-use Shop T: 01284 335844
Ipswich Re-use Shop T: 01473 610322
*Name has been changed.
Learn more about our Furniture Stores and Re-Use Shops