Just three years ago John Jarrett was facing life on the streets, with no prospects and no hope of finding regular employment.
But then he found Emmaus Sheffield, the working community with quality, self-contained accommodation, training facilities and a workspace for previously homeless men and women aged 18 years and over.
And today he is celebrating receiving five qualifications, including his Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Business Administration in the Business Skills Sector from the Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards.
And inspired by his success he is now embarking on a course in Business Marketing wth the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
“I left school when i was just 15 and I have never studied anything in my life,” said 48-year-old John, who runs the Emmaus Sheffield eBay sales department, one of the charity’s most successful fundraising operations.
“I have been with Emmaus for three years and at Emmaus Sheffield for two years and it was only with their support that I found a way to even think about studying and getting myself some qualifications.
“It’s been a mixture of course work and practical study and some of the assignments have been quite intense but thanks to the whole Emmaus Sheffield team I really feel I have done something important.
“I have never had a qualification in my life so to me this is a huge achievement.
“It has given me confidence and work experience and it has helped me enormously with the work I am doing here on a daily basis - it’s the piece of paperwork that proves what I can achieve.”
Emmaus Sheffield Deputy manager Charley Fedorenko said: “John really is a great example of what Emmaus is all about.
“His work on our eBay sales site has been a massive hit for us but now he has used that experience to do something for himself and develop the skills that will enable him to think about his next steps.
“We are all extremely proud of what he has already achieved and will be supporting him as he sets off on his next course of study.”
Emmaus is based at the historic Sipelia Works, a former cutlery factory at Cadman Street, close to the city’s Canal Basin.
It aims through its Social Enterprise programme to provide meaningful work and enable the people it supports – known as companions - to eventually become self-supporting once more.