Tom was just 19 when he first came to Back on Track. Like a lot of the young people we support he came from a chaotic, unstable background and his family situation had broken down. He stayed on friends’ sofas for a while, but he was experiencing mental health problems, and was vulnerable and unstable. He soon became homeless. He was given a place at a hostel, but he hated living there, and says it destroyed his self-esteem.

Things began to turn around when Tom started getting support from Katie, one of our Talent Coaches who support young people who have been through big problems. She helped him look to his future, and worked on his job skills. She helped him find a work placement at Ceracycloan, a bike maintenance social enterprise that specialises in work experience for disadvantaged young people

Brian, the manager, was so impressed with Tom and the way he had worked so hard. So Katie worked with him to create a new apprenticeship. Tom was taken on and got all the training and qualifications he needed for a career in cycle maintenance.

Then, in 2017, good news – Tom had successfully passed his apprenticeship. But Brian had a surprise in store. Tom was to be taken on as a permanent member of staff!  He is now a valued member of staff – and has even been named Cycling UK’s Young Achiever of the Year.

As Katie says, “Tom’s story is testament to what you can achieve if you stay determined, patient and make the most of an opportunity.”