Now a partner at Waitrose, Jamie* has been on quite a journey. We’re over the moon that Ready for Work has helped him to get the fresh start he needed.
“Growing up I was in and out of care, but in my late teens I returned to live with my family. At this point I was settled in a job, but there were problems and tensions. Eventually it became too much and I knew I had to leave. I packed all of my clothes, took my credit card, jumped on a coach and went to Manchester.
It didn’t take long for my money to run out, and all I could do was sleep on the streets. They call it rough sleeping, but for me there was no sleep. Thankfully I was helped by a day centre called Cornerstone, who found me a place in a hostel.
That was how I heard about Ready for Work, from a friend at the hostel. He had got a job working at Marks & Spencer and was raving about the programme, so I asked to be referred straight away.
Now, thanks to the programme, I’ve got a job at Waitrose. I was five days into my Ready for Work placement when the store manager offered it to me – apparently the other partners at the store had given me very positive feedback!
I love every minute of my job. I’ve worked in retail before, but the atmosphere at Waitrose is different. We’re such a diverse team, with managers and team members working alongside each other. It’s great that Waitrose support Ready for Work - it's good for the company, good for society, and good for the individual…just look at me!
I moved to Manchester with no idea of how life would turn out and ended up on the streets. But now I have a job and a flat, and I’ve just received my Waitrose partnership card – I’m part of the family.”