Like many Ready for Work participants, Andy had experienced homelessness when he was referred to the programme. This is his story.
"It was 25th November 2015. It was a Wednesday and I was in a very bad way. I walked into Cornerstone Day Centre and was completely and utterly broken – nothing like I am now. But I’ll never forget, and I’m not afraid to tell my story.
At the end of 2015 my relationship broke down. I lost my house, and at the same time I lost my job. Life went rapidly downhill and before I knew it, I found myself on the streets of Manchester. I don’t like to talk about sleeping rough, but suffice to say it wasn’t long before I didn’t want to live any more. Thankfully, it was at this point that the council told me about Cornerstone Day Centre.
I’d never heard of Cornerstone before. Now they’re like my family. When I turned up on their doorstep they fed me, helped me sort out my benefits, and let me stay in their night shelter until the Council found me a place in shared accommodation.
I’d started to volunteer at Cornerstone by this point, but I knew it was paid work that would really get me back on my feet again. Ready for Work was just what I needed. I was placed with Carillion and took to the work straight away. At the end of the two weeks I was starting to say my goodbyes when they offered me a job!"
All images ©Alison Baskerville/Business In The Community