“I became homeless aged 20 and lived at one of St Basils' semi-independent projects in Bartley Green, Birmingham in 2013-14."
"St Basils was there for me at a time of need, they helped me to get back on my feet and to make progress. They helped my whole wellbeing. More problems would have come from being homeless, if I hadn’t have had that support".
"I got really involved with St Basils Youth Council and it was really good actually. A lot of that role was meeting lots of different people, including VIPs and important business people and just nothing phases me now!"
"It gave me direction and the sense that my input could make a difference and that gave me the confidence to pitch ideas. Just the talks I did as part of the Youth Council made a difference as well. I’d never had any public speaking training before I did that but I don’t get butterflies in my stomach now, so again just having the opportunity to do that at that time really helped me."
"My support worker got me thinking about my next steps and I got a job working at a local Gym."
"There’s a couple of St Basils support workers, Sam and Sienne, who were particularly encouraging, and that motivation has just sparked that drive in me and once it starts, it doesn’t stop."
"I've always been sporty, I played basketball and rowed for Birmingham and I was a Sports Coach too so I had the fitness but I was lacking the nutrition side and the understanding on that side of healthy living. Suddenly in 2012 I fell seriously ill, I was hospitalised and they thought I might not make it through the night! At the time I got ill I was working long shifts I didn’t really have the time to cook proper food. I was just living off takeaways and junk food because it was quick and with needing the energy to work out. I was missing key nutrients from my diet but I wasn’t really aware of that but once I’d worked out for myself what minerals I was missing, I worked out how to correct it and now I just want to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
"I’ve had that vision for a long time but it’s only recently I thought about turning it into a business."
"I'm still working part-time with the Gym group which really are the best gym in Birmingham(!) but I just felt I needed to branch out, so took it on myself to do that. I’ve been building up my personal trainer business for a couple of years now and I’ve tried different business models but as I grew in knowledge in the field I wanted to try a new concept."
"Now I’m working with companies on Employee Productivity Programmes. It’s all about getting a happier healthier lifestyle."
"It’s going good. I’ve been talking with a couple of large local businesses who I’ll be starting with soon. There’s two programmes I offer, Boot camp, which is intensive group workshops to help individuals achieve a set short term goal and then the Corporate side, longer term employee programmes. The boot camp is a stepping stone really, its short term and so can act as something of a taster, paving the way to longer term programmes."
"Now I can see the future and yes it looks pretty good from where I’m standing right now. It feels achievable now. Whereas before I came to St Basils I couldn’t see it and I lacked that direction to find it."
"I gave a talk at one of the Youth Council meetings recently and I spoke to the current residents. I said ‘just know what you want to do and make it happen. Its not about how it could happen, just know what you really want for the future. As without that the direction, the drive just isn’t going to come. I know that from experience. It's all about what you want and that goal because once you have that, the rest you can make happen.”