Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

Search

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

06:00 04 September 2014

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.

shares
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.”

shares

2 comments

  • We could not be prouder of Kristen! He deserved this and has worked so hard so get to where he is! He is a true inspiration and whenever i think i have it tough - I just think if he can do it with a smile - i can too!!! Well done Kristen!!!

    Report this comment

    natasha laisure

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

  • I'm glad it's worked out or him. However, I have overheard two loud conversations this week where people were boasting about using apprentices to do the dirty work as they are cheaper and harder working than temps and will do anything they are asked regardless of job descriptions. Apprenticeships need to be monitored independently

    Report this comment

    jane

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

More than 600 vehicles - cars, buses, military vehicles and motorcycles - taking part in the 46th annual Ipswich to Felixstowe Historic Vehicle Run. Christchurch Park. Left to right, Ross and Stuart Holman.

Hundreds of car owners took advantage of one of the first good days of the year to take part in Sunday’s historic vehicle run from Ipswich to Felixstowe.

Ipswich & District TUC are celebrating another May Day Festival in Alexandra Park on International Workers Day.

Perfect spring weather finally arrived in Ipswich for the town’s May Day festival which brought out the crowds to Alexandra Park on Sunday afternoon.

Kesgrave 5K Fun Run starting and ending at The Bell Inn.

It was a record-breaking turn out at the ninth annual Kesgrave 5k fun run.

Yum Yums Cookery School, a nonprofit community organisation which runs cookery classes at primary schools in Ipswich, has received funding worth £500. Children at Whitehouse Primary celebrating the news. Adults L-R Dawn Burrows, Charlotte Burrows, Ron Impey, Emma Youngman.

An after-school cookery class scheme is celebrating after receiving a vital funding boost.

34th annual Heritage Coast Run/Walk organised by the Rotary Club of Saxmundham and District
13 mile start

Runners travelled from as far as Scotland to take part in a “unique” challenge along the Suffolk coast.

Foxglove Gardens

There is a dip in Foxhall Road, a depression that is in geographical terms the start of the Mill River, writes John Norman, of the Ipswich Society.

Auschwitz Birkenau

The stories of the holocaust have been recounted in history lessons for decades but there is a difference between what we read in books and what we see for ourselves as 15 Suffolk pupils discovered on a visit to Auschwitz .

Should cyclists be allowed to go through red traffic lights when it is safe?

A cyclist rode through a red light and turned left while I was walking the dog this week. It was 6.20am, there was no other traffic so no risk but, officially, the cyclist had broken the law.

Firefighters from Essex and Suffolk tackled the fire at Ashen.

Firefighters from Suffolk and Essex spent much of Saturday night tackling a blaze in a 3,000-tonne stack of straw at Ashen, near Stoke by Clare.

Once upon a time, shopping was my therapy, writes mum-of-three Ellen Widdup.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24