A qualified engineer has thanked a Suffolk based charity for helping him get his life back on track and back into employment for the first time in seven years.
Jason Dunn. 43, from Bury St Edmunds, was left with appalling back injuries following a freak accident in 2005. This situation sent Jason’s life spiralling out of control leading him into deep depression, long-term unemployment and at one stage homelessness.
In September 2011, Jason was introduced to Workwise, and started attending its vocational workshop in Bury St Edmunds two days a week. He also attended an additional day a week as a volunteer helping others to learn new skills. Less than a year later, so remarkable has been Jason’s recovery, he has now been offered a full-time job at Workwise as a CADCAM instructor.
“It is great to have my first job in seven years. I love the environment at Workwise and the people I am working with and it is nice to have some money in my pocket again. Without the help I have received from Workwise I am sure I would have been destitute by now, it has put my life back on track and for the first time in many years I feel I have got back what I had lost and I am positive about the future,” said Jason.
Life seemed rosy for Jason when he graduated from Nottingham University with an engineering degree at the age of 34. At the time he was a very active person enjoying sports, indulging in his passion for travel and he was also a professional drummer. In a blink of an eye Jason’s world changed when he stood on a paving slab which broke in two. The impact of the accident left Jason with three broken vertebras in his back.
The horrific accident left Jason needing two walking sticks to get around, being forced to undergo several operations, and needing help just to carry out routine tasks.
“I went from a fun-loving, very active individual to being completely restricted. It was horrific, and I spent most of my time starring at four walls and I become isolated and depressed. I had no money and lost all my confidence and self esteem,” said Jason. “At one time I just couldn’t ever see my life getting back to normal.”
Jason’s life took a turn for the better when he was referred to Suffolk MIND, a charity which supports people in the recovery from mental ill health. Whilst at MIND Jason over heard a conversation about the vocational opportunities at Workwise and it was the beginning of his road to recovery. After speaking to his support worker at MIND Jason was referred to Workwise last September and the rest, as they say, is history.
“It is just a shame I didn’t hear about Workwise before as If I had I could have got my life back on track so much sooner. I will never forget the support I have received from both MIND and Workwise they are both such great organisations and they deserve so much credit. I now have a massive opportunity, I am back working in 3D design, which is something I love. As I am working as an instructor I am also giving something back, which is very important to me after all the support I have had.”
Val Beresford Workwise Chief Executive, said: “Jason is a natural with people, we originally were going to help him gain qualifications that would enable him to teach in further education. However, an opportunity occured here at Workwise and I encouraged Jason to apply for the position we are proud to have in on board.