This week, we’re bringing you a story from a graduate of our last Employment Preparation Programme, which finished in December 2019. Before starting the programme he had spent the last few years regularly moving between different temporary accommodations and had been gang affiliated.

Whilst at the House, this graduate completed his work experience in the club working as a barista and started to foster some big plans to have his own coffee shop one day. He was taking positive steps towards his dream, having secured a job as a barista which he was due to start last month. Sadly, because of Coronavirus, that job is now on hold.

With the help of the Employment Academy team, he was offered a one bedroom flat just before the Coronavirus crisis, and had managed to move in before the lock down began. This has offered him some focus and motivation during this testing time. But, he continues to face challenges around his mental health and alcohol. The EA Team, and his mentor, have been offering support and guidance on these challenges and are helping him to build structure and maintain resilience.

Since graduation, he had also been studying to gain his English and Maths qualifications, but now, all courses have been placed on hold. We have been working to source this graduate a laptop and to provide internet access so he can continue to study online, complete his qualifications and remain focused on the future.

The Employment Academy team is in regular contact and are conducting remote support sessions to keep him focused whilst lock down continues and until we hope he can begin his job.

We wouldn’t be able to do any of this work without the help of our members and supporters. We know that this is a challenging time for us all, but if you are able to make a donation to help this work continue, you can here.