After the relationship with his wife broke down irretrievably, Mark became a resident at YMCAs Welwyn Garden City Hostel.

Mark’s options had included moving to another area to live with friends. However he wanted to remain close to his three children who live locally, as playing an active role in their lives was important to him.

YMCA was able to provide Mark with accommodation where he could still see his children three days a week and they were able to stay with him every weekend.

Whilst staying at our hostel Mark took every opportunity that presented itself and completed the YMCA Personal Development Programme (PDP). A programme designed to help residents gain new skills in an area of their interest.

The programme was the catalyst for Mark to volunteer in the hostel computer training room, helping other residents study for their courses. This experience made Mark realise that he enjoyed teaching so he started studying with the Open University for a BSc in Mathematics and YMCA funded a ten week ‘Preparing to Teach’ course for him.

Mark says, “Working with people through PDP was a good thing and helped my active nature. It helped me with team work and tolerance as well as developing organisational skills. I wasn’t sure if teaching was for me but my life was pointing that way. The Preparing to Teach course that the YMCA paid for enabled me to get a job with a local college and I’m now teaching GCSE mathematics to 14-19 year olds.”

Mark moved out of the YMCA hostel into a two bedroom flat with support from the Housing Team. Mark says, ‘I still stay in touch with YMCA staff and residents, there are a lot of great guys there that I have a good relationship with. I still train at the local gym and see some of the residents at the college. My time at YMCA was a positive experience which helped prove myself to my children and my family.”

‘Working with people through PDP was a good thing and helped my active nature. It helped me with team work and tolerance as well as developing organisational skills’. Mark