“Luke seized the opportunities the Centre offered with both hands. He is a wonderful example of overcoming adversity – it was a privilege to meet him.” says employment officer, Ben.
Luke, 25 was diagnosed with leukaemia when he was just 2 years old and has had chemotherapy on and off for most of his life.
Despite qualifying for disability benefit, Luke has always been driven to find work. However his ill health and the education he missed as a result has often made this task difficult. After leaving school he worked as an apprentice in a housing management company and then at a private health clinic. Sadly when Luke needed further treatment for his leukaemia he lost his job due to health and safety concerns.
Without a job, Luke couldn’t afford his rent and had to move in to his mother’s one bedroom flat, sleeping on the sofa. Eleven months went by and Luke was still unable to find work. To make matters worse a mistake by the council on his benefits form meant Luke and his mother were incorrectly sent a bill requesting he pay back a large amount of his benefits.
“We were terrified – I didn’t understand the bill and there was no way that we could afford to pay for it.”
Luke was determined to get back into employment, and to help his mother with the huge bill they’d received. Fortunately the local JobCentre recommended Luke to come to the Cardinal Hume Centre for help.
“The staff are so kind, and so determined to help me. I started to feel hopeful. Not only did I meet a housing advisor who helped me to sort out the issue with the council, but the help with finding work has been amazing.”
Ben helped Luke to write his CV, but also used his contacts to help find Luke a two week placement – working in a bank.
“I was so delighted when they offered me the job. It was only two weeks – but it was infinitely more than I had been offered while looking on my own for almost a year!”
In just two weeks, his dedication meant that he was noticed by senior management, and he was offered a full time position.
“I am so proud of Luke. Rather than struggling on benefits, and sleeping on his mother’s sofa, I know he will go on to achieve great things,” says Ben, one of three people in our employment team.
Ben’s valuable role has been made possible by the generous donations of individuals. Please support the Cardinal Hume Centre