Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 14°C

Search

Ipswich: Former apprentice reveals how working helped him rebuild his life after twice beating cancer

At work with former apprentice Kristen Carden, who started at Realise Futures during the 100 apprentices in 100 days campaign four years ago.

At work with former apprentice Kristen Carden, who started at Realise Futures during the 100 apprentices in 100 days campaign four years ago.

A cancer survivor who had given up on life after failing to secure a job at the end of his treatment has had his life transformed thanks to an apprenticeship with Realise Futures.

At work with former apprentice Kristen Carden, who started at Realise Futures during the 100 apprentices in 100 days campaign four years ago. At work with former apprentice Kristen Carden, who started at Realise Futures during the 100 apprentices in 100 days campaign four years ago.

And this week Kristen Carden has backed a new campaign to create 5,000 apprenticeships in Suffolk over the next five years, helping address the skills shortage in the county.

“I have learnt a lot of new skills, I completed my apprenticeship last year and am now a supervisor in the workshop. I am currently doing a management course and I have completed a fork lift truck and cherry boom course,” said the 25-year-old. “Everyday I am learning something new.”

Kristen was forced to drop out of college at 17 because of the intense treatment he was undergoing for testicular cancer. The teenager fully recovered from the illness but faced another blow two years later when he was diagnosed with sarcoma.

After his second bout of treatment, Kristen, of Bramford Road, Ipswich, was desperate to rebuild his life but could not afford to resume his mechanics course at college and was unable to find a job.

At work with former apprentice Kristen Carden, who started at Realise Futures during the 100 apprentices in 100 days campaign four years ago. At work with former apprentice Kristen Carden, who started at Realise Futures during the 100 apprentices in 100 days campaign four years ago.

Then in 2010 he was offered a job with Realise Futures at the Whitehouse site in Lovetofts Drive through our 100 in 100 apprentice campaign.

“Working here has made me more confident, and given me independence. It has given me an opportunity to prove myself,” said Kristen.

“This has really changed my life; I am now in my own place, have got a new car and a stable job. Who knows, I might even be the boss of the whole workshop one day.”

Urging other teenagers to follow in his footsteps, he added: “Doing an apprenticeship is like a short cut really, you are learning as you go but also getting your qualifications. The money isn’t great to start with, I think it was about £400 a month, but you wouldn’t get anything if you went to college and it does increase.

“I am qualified now and on my way to NVQ Level 3. I had never really looked into this as a career but I am not too bad at it now, I think I have found my talent.”

Realise Futures is a social enterprise and offers opportunities to vulnerable adults and those with learning disabilities.

“I think it has been quite educational working with some of the more vulnerable people here,” said Kristen. “It is really rewarding when you work with them and see their confidence grow and help them develop their social skills.”

Lee Caraccio, business development manager, said: “Taking on apprentices gives you stability. You get the youngsters coming through and they are learning the skills they need from us and we can also learn from them, they pick up the new technology quicker than we do and they can share that knowledge.

“Apprentices bring a real boost to the business, we know we can rely on them.”

A young girl has suffered head injuries after being struck by a car in Ipswich this afternoon.

A youngster with an obsession with Mini cars was gifted a special eighth birthday present when the Ipswich BMW garage gave her a car for the day.

Proposals have been submitted for a 12-acre film studio complex at a former Suffolk air base with the project hailed as an “important development” in the drive to tap into the creative industries.

Blues fans of all ages have gathered at Portman Road today to meet their heroes ahead of the start of the new season.

A man who stole more than £3,000 from a woman has been warned that all sentencing options will be open to the court when he is sentenced next month.

Ed Sheeran will compete against friend Stormzy for this year’s Mercury Prize.

A two-car collision in Civic Drive is currently causing traffic delays in Ipswich town centre.

The ban on transgender people serving in the US military will have a direct effect on two Suffolk air bases, who have both promoted LGBT rights.

A group of travellers have parked up at West End Road car park in Ipswich, close to the town’s railway station.

Ipswich council has increased its borrowing limit to £350m to allow the authority to make more investments in property in and around the town.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24