Noel's story

Noel became homeless when his relationship with his father broke down. He’d had a difficult childhood, with his mum passing away when he was just nine, and by the time he was a teenager living at home just wasn’t an option.

But luckily Noel was referred to YMCA Thames Gateway, a LandAid and Pledge150 funded project in Romford. Once staying there he began volunteering in the gym – and it was then that he realised not only his passion for fitness but also how good he was at working with people. He received so many comments about his happy and helpful attitude.

Five years on, Noel is doing so well. He started by completing a level 2 Instructor Training Course, after which he was offered a part time job as a fitness instructor. But he now runs a range of specialised classes and programmes, working with a range of people with specialist needs from young children, teens who have been excluded from school and children and adults with disabilities. He has also broadened his experience and works with other young people from challenging backgrounds in one of the youth groups.

Noel has grasped every opportunity and has quickly turned his life around. He now has his own flat and is determined to succeed in everything that he does and his relationship with his dad is now back on track.