"It's the first time I've felt really settled and secure"

1 March 2014

 Aaron, 22, lives in one of Porchlight’s young persons’ shared accommodation projects in Dover. He’s been homeless and in temporary accommodation since the age of 15 when he was forced to leave home because of family issues.

“I’ve been with Porchlight for almost a year now and it’s the first time I’ve felt really settled and secure,” he says.

“My key worker Wendy has supported me 100% from the start and given me the encouragement that I’ve never really had before.”

Aaron has some learning difficulties and didn’t do well at school. But with Wendy’s guidance he’s completed courses in health and safety and first aid, as well as put together a CV and undertaken a range of work experience placements.

“I’ve worked with Growth Rings and Abbot’s Mill which are Community Interest Companies offering practical opportunities to young people like me,” he explains.

Aaron’s also been involved with the BASTA project, a Swedish social enterprise model which allows people to grow their self-esteem, at the same time as gaining professional skills and experience.

“I make sure that I take every opportunity going because it’s all helping me with my confidence,” says Aaron. “I also really enjoy keeping busy and when I’m not on placements, I like to volunteer for gardening and other projects.”

Aaron is currently working seven days a week at a carvery restaurant – a job he enjoys – but is hoping to reduce his hours so that he can continue moving towards his dream of setting up a small carpentry and cabinet-making business.

I want to start my own social enterprise so that I can offer vulnerable people a chance to do something meaningful and productive with their lives and help them see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.