Andrew Slater

Andrew: When I left school they sent me to Springboard in Hetton for help with literacy and numeracy because I had dyslexia and I used to write letters and numbers the wrong way round. But most of all, I didn’t have much confidence. So when I left there at 18 I ended up on the dole. My Mum and Dad both have health problems so I was caring for them as well, and I found myself just sitting at home, not wanting to go out.

Then I started here at the Employability Trust and everything changed. I met new people that I get on with – I’d only ever had one or two friends in my life before. The work is good too and we do all sorts. It will come in and seem easy to begin with, then more jobs come in during the day and we get really busy. But it makes the time go quicker and everybody gets on together and has a good laugh.

In the very first week I got to know one of the other guys here. Then I met his daughter and we’ve been going out together now for six months. I’ve got more money to spend and we get out to all kinds of things now – the cinema and that, and go out for meals every weekend when I get paid! I’ve even got a little stepdaughter to help look after now and we’re planning to look for a house together after Christmas. So it’s all been a hell of a big change for me and it’s thanks to everyone here. Bill Boss as we call him – is a good bloke and so is Ray. They make this a good place to work. My mum and dad are over the moon, seeing me so much more confident in myself and they’re really happy for us.