A FORMER homeless man from Coventry has every reason to be cheerful after achieving a Level Two cycle maintenance qualification.
Stuart Taylor was reduced to sleeping rough on the city’s streets after losing his home following a battle with alcoholism.
But the 51-year-old has turned his life around after receiving support from homelessness charity Emmaus Coventry and Warwickshire.
Stuart has attended regular cycle mechanic training sessions as part of his aim to get back into employment. And he’s now fully qualified to service and repair bicycles.
The determined character couldn’t hold back his delight after receiving his certificate, and he admitted all the hard work is starting to pay off.
He said: “The qualification means I can help Emmaus – the charity which has helped me so much – because I can now service and repair bikes to sell in their charity shop.
“It’s another step on my road back into living independently again.
“Not long ago I was living homeless on a canal tow path, and this is all part of making sure I never end up that way again.
“I’m proud to put on my CV that I’m a qualified cycle mechanic and hope that it’ll help me get back into employment soon.”
Emmaus Coventry and Warwickshire provides a home and meaningful work for 25 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion.
The charity has given Stuart a home and support as he learns to live with his addiction and rebuilds ties with family.
The training was offered through a unique partnership between Emmaus and Langley House Trust.
Based in Coventry, the trust usually works with former offenders – giving them hands-on skills in bicycle repair, upcycling and reselling used bikes.
As a result of the new collaboration with Emmaus, the Trust has been able to provide funding to put Stuart through this officially accredited course.
Ian Mutch, Emmaus Coventry and Warwickshire’s Enterprise manager, said: “This is a great day for Stuart.
“He’s come a long way in his year with Emmaus and we’re very happy to see him make such progress.
“Our charity is all about not just giving people a bed, but hopefully giving them the support and training needed to move on when they are ready and Stuart’s a great example of this.”