Mark Wheatley, 44, from Swindon, found himself homeless after losing his job. His relationship broke down and Mark’s confidence plummeted. But thanks to The Salvation Army, he has turned his life around and found work as a relief cycle mechanic at a social enterprise scheme run by the charity.
It was Mark’s local council that directed him to The Salvation Army’s Booth House Lifehouse in Swindon. Mark said: “At first I was nervous and scared, and hardly spoke to anybody, I had very little confidence at all.”
However, within a few weeks the father-of-two began volunteering at the Recycles scheme, where he quickly learned how to refurbish old bikes, carry out repairs for people in the community and learned about cycle mechanics.
Rick Bartlett, a Recycles cycle mechanic, said: “Mark came to us quite down on his luck and depressed. He is now confident and moving forward. It is a total change around.”
The Salvation Army gave Mark the opportunity to complete an NVQ Level 2 qualification in engineering and he now is employed by the church and charity as a relief cycle mechanic and lives in a housing association flat in Swindon.