Church Housing Trust provides ‘added value’ with our funding. We take a huge amount of pride from the changes we make to people’s day-to-day lives.
One example is Stephen. Stephen is 61, and through our funding has achieved his lifelong aspiration of gaining a teaching qualification.
When he first left school as a teenager he worked in the Civil Service for 14 years, before deciding decided to become a mature student. He got his degree, but cut-backs meant that he wasn’t able to return to his old job.
He ended up moving back and forth between England and Italy to teach English, taking odd jobs to survive, including briefly becoming a postman. His situation was precarious; temporary roles meant that he was usually paid by the hour.
When his mother and brother passed away in quick succession in 2012, he returned to England. After so long abroad, he had nowhere to live and no access to benefits, preventing him from staying in supported housing. Making use of a night shelter, with nowhere to stay during the day, it took until the end of that year to find him a room at Vaughan House, a Riverside supported living scheme in Guildford.
After that, things began to pick up rapidly. Stephen began taking on voluntary work, helping with computer classes and lifelong learning at Vaughan House. Funded by Church Housing Trust, he started a PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) qualification.
“I’m very grateful to have a roof over my head,” he says, “And couldn’t appreciate more all the support Church Housing Trust has given me. This place provides the opportunities for people, but they have to put the work in to get the best out of it.”
The following July he went into move-on housing and has finished his course. He is looking forward to getting some part-time work as a language teacher and finally applying for independent accommodation.
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