‘I tell people, “if you want a job, if you want your life to come back, go to Pecan.” ’
For so many of the people who come through our doors, we provide a glimmer of hope that life can be different.
When we met Anthony he had only been with us for a few weeks. ‘I will do anything for Pecan,’ he explains in his thick Caribbean accent, as he leans back in his chair. ‘If I’d known about this place before, I would have been here a long time ago.’
Anthony had been out of work for four months. A problem with his documents forced him to resign from his job with Southwark Council – and his visit to the job centre threw up difficulties. ‘I found some cleaning jobs,’ he says, ‘but some of them needed a CV. I didn’t have a CV, I only had the experience.’
The job centre sent Anthony to Pecan where, after an initial chat with Teresa, one of our advisers, it became clear that as well as writing a CV, he’d further increase his opportunities by going to college to improve his literacy. ‘I respect Theresa for that,’ he says. ‘I know that I need it to get an even better job.’
A week later he’d been accepted onto a course.
Teresa is impressed with his progress. She says, ‘His self esteem is improving and new horizons are opening up for him. He’s an inspiration!’
Says Anthony, ‘I tell people, “if you want a job, if you want your life to come back, go to Pecan.” My friends say, “Did you pay for it?” and I tell them, “No” and they say, “Where is it again?”’