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How Aaron turned hobby into a job
A DAD-to-be who was made redundant just two weeks after his girlfriend fell pregnant has turned his life and his fortunes around, thanks to the Prince’s Trust.
Aaron Newman, 31, of Burnaby Road, Southend, was enjoying the news he was to become a father, when days later, he was devastated to lose his job as a window fitter.
The blow and the effect on his finances led to increased stress and soon after, the breakdown of his relationship.
Aaron said: “I couldn’t believe it when I lost my job.
“I was about to become a father for the first time and needed to ensure I could support my family.
“I was heartbroken when I realised I might not be able to do this.
”I hit rock-bottom. It was the lowest point of my life, yet should’ve been the best.
“I was signed off work with depression for six months.”
Despite the birth of his daughter Grace, now three, Aaron’s life began to spiral out of control over the next two years as he struggled to find work and ended up partying to forget his troubles.
Aaron had a difficult family life and left school at 15 with few qualifications.
He spent two years looking for work and applying for any job that came up.
He said: “It was so demoralising not hearing anything back from anyone.
“I was really struggling to pay my rent and bills on time.”
Eventually, he sought help and was given counselling.
“I never thought I could leave that side of my life behind, I was partying so much,” he said.
“But counselling helped and I learnt coping techniques and started to get sorted.”
Then, during a regular visit to the Jobcentre, Aaron heard about the Prince’s Trust, which helps 18 to 30-year-olds and he started to think about how he could turn his hobby of woodwork into a business.
Aaron, who had a long interest in carpentry, said: “I was quite nervous approaching the Prince’s Trust for help, but I needn’t have been.
“They were so welcoming and really listened to my ideas.”
Firstly, he obtained a £1,000 loan from a new enterprise programme funded by the Government.
He continued to receive housing benefit and was able to start building his business, A. Craig Carpentry.
He offers carpentry, painting and decorating, maintenance, flooring and furniture repairs.
He said: “I was able to buy tools and get my driving licence.
“Then, with the Prince’s Trust after I’d completed courses and had explained my business plan to them, I was lucky enough to get a £2,500 loan.”
With the money he bought a van in June and business took off.
He has a steady client base and good reputation and Aaron has work booked up for the coming months. He hopes to expand in the near future and potentially employ others to build his client base.
He added: “I honestly don’t know where I’d be without The Prince’s Trust.
“I was lucky to find out about them before I turned 31.
“I’d probably still be looking for work and feeling really unhappy with life. I feel so lucky to be in a position where I’m doing something I love every day.
“I’d never envisaged being this busy. It has opened up so many doors.
”I feel I’m in the form of my life. I’ve got a beautiful daughter, who’s three, and work is going great.”