Back in the driving seat


Daniel worked as a Contracts Manager for a construction company, until the 2008 financial crisis made him redundant

He said: “It’s usually the Contracts Manager that issues the redundancies; I got mine off of the Director. I was absolutely gutted, it was soul destroying.”

Having worked since the age of 16 as an apprentice carpenter, Daniel didn’t know where he could turn for help.

With work in the construction industry becoming hard to find he decided to investigate working in a different sector, but with the stress of redundancy, exacerbated by mounting worries about money, he found it hard to weigh up what his options were.

Daniel said: “I like driving, I like teaching, so I thought I’d try and become a driving instructor, but obviously there was a lot of money that had to be found for the courses, the training, and everything else.”

He poured all of his resources into gaining the qualifications needed. But the financial pressure of being out of work meant that he couldn’t cover the cost of essentials, which made life increasingly hard.

It was Daniel’s partner who suggested he might be able to apply for help from the Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund. “I had great help from my girlfriend who works for Citizens Advice. She pointed me in the right direction,” added Daniel.

“I thought it was an easy process, I couldn’t ask for much more really. I thought the assistance they gave me was fantastic.”

Daniel was visited by a Volunteer Visitor who guided him through the process of applying, “I was quite taken aback, she said ‘you’re trying to do a great thing and we’re going to help you achieve it.’ And that’s what happened.” 

“My caseworker was brilliant; she just helped me all the way. She was in touch every two to three months by email and phone asking how I was getting on, seeing how I was doing with the tests and asking if the money was helping. And it was.”

The Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund supported Daniel with the cost of essential items that he wasn’t able to afford, allowing him to focus on getting the qualifications needed for his new career. “The Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund gave me furniture that I didn’t have, white goods and stuff like that.”

With the additional support Daniel eventually passed all of the tests required and now works as a successful driving instructor. “I achieved what I set out to achieve,” commented Daniel. “I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t have got to where I am now without Turn2us and the Elizabeth Finn Fund.”

With a string of successful students and word of mouth spreading, life is looking a lot more positive for Daniel, “I’ve explained to a few people in similar situation to me, I’ve spread the gospel about Turn2us. It’s just a new lease of life now.”

Use the Grant Search to find out if you could be eligible for help.