The Foundation awarded Pecan a grant of £69,295 over three years, which will support the salary costs, training, overheads and management / evaluation for the Moving On project, a one-to-one mentoring project which supports women through the transition from prison to community.
Pecan is based in Peckham, London and works with the most vulnerable people in the Peckham community – including people living with mental health issues and the long-term unemployed. The charity offers a range of support to individuals including job preparation, information, advice and guidance.
Kim has been receiving support from the charity to gain the skill and confidence needed for finding a job.
Five years ago Kim ran a successful construction company that employed up to 40 people. His team worked on a number of high profile projects, included bomb-proofing the Home Office, and installing the glass on the new Arsenal football stadium. This came to an abrupt halt, a month before Christmas, when Kim suffered a terrible accident.
“I fell off a building,” he explains, “and broke my back.”
The extent of the injury meant he spent a year recovering, losing his company as a result, and triggering bouts of severe depression that would take three years to overcome.
‘Life crumbled, basically” says Kim.
With the help of family and friends he emerged from the depression and set about looking for work, but found sizeable barriers in his way.
“I’m dyslexic, which isn’t helpful, and I’m totally computer illiterate. Every job said email this, post us this, and paste this to us. I didn’t know what to do. But, I can say that the best thing that happened to me since the day I had my accident, was when I walked through the door at Pecan. Within a week of being there I had a CV which I was proud of and one which captured my skills. I now know how to use a computer, I might not be a five hundred words a minute guy, but I can get my cover letters done, and download my CV, which I do every day.
“The biggest thing is confidence,’ he admits. ‘If I apply now for a job and don’t get it, I haven’t failed. I’ve just improved my techniques a bit more. I don’t feel like I’m pushing against the wind all the time, I think I’m on a level playing field, and that’s what it’s done for me. It’s a lifeline, it really is, and I’m so grateful.”