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Newground gives Nathan a chance to turn his life around

Volunteering at Offshoots has offered Nathan the opportunity to gain valuable experience as he builds himself back up to get a full time job.

After a turbulent past, Nathan Rosser made some mistakes that landed him in prison. Nathan’s life soon became extremely difficult and, following his release from prison, he was keen to turn things around and get his life back on track. “Once I was released from prison I really wanted to move on with my life”, says Nathan, “I am a better, stronger person, and I am willing to do anything it takes to prove that.”

When Nathan’s historic rent arrears prevented him from getting back on his feet and starting a new tenancy, he was introduced to Offshoots, a Permaculture project run by Newground Together that helps people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Nathan had been told he wouldn’t be able to bid for properties again until his arrears had been cleared. Understanding Nathan’s predicament, and through lots of hard work, Newground supported Nathan to pay off his arrears. When Nathan felt like he was on the road to recovery, more obstacles were thrown in his way when he was told his tenancy would be suspended for 12 months, making him effectively homeless.

Nathan was recently put on a course through the Pennine Re-connect scheme, which is a Calico run project.  The scheme gave Nathan somewhere to live and meant he had benefits coming in, but it also meant Nathan couldn’t undertake paid work while he volunteered.

Nathan dedicated himself to volunteering at Offshoots, where his experience will provide him with better job prospects in the future, while preparing him for full time work. Nathan’s volunteering at Offshoots used his skills to make the project more enjoyable for others. In just a few weeks, he built a small wooden fence and gate within the grounds, along with strawberry planters, harnessing his joinery skills.

“I enjoy getting out and doing something different. Obviously I want to find a paid job in the near future, but for now it’s nice to be able to get more experience,” says Nathan. “I like keeping myself busy; it means I’m not stuck in my own head all the time.”

While Nathan faced many difficult barriers during his rehabilitation, his determination has shone through: “I’m doing this for my children, most of them have grown up now but I still want to be the best dad I can be. Especially for my youngest, she’s just started her exams in school and I want to support her through those. Having a roof over my head and a job means I will be able to do that.”

Nathan has now completed the Pennine Reconnect programme and is now in his own flat, looking for employment. With his enthusiasm to find work and experience as a trained joiner, Nathan has also recently completed a diploma in tiling and plastering and obtain a CSCS card, making it possible for him to work towards his dream job.

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I enjoy getting out and doing something different. Obviously I want to find a paid job in the near future, but for now it’s nice to be able to get more experience.
Newground Volunteer
Calico Housing Tenant