Oliver rediscovers his love for martial arts

Raven resident Oliver is taking steps to get his life back on track.

Oliver joined our employment support programme after seeing that it could help young people living in social housing. As he was living on his own, Oliver was subject to the government’s plans to cut housing benefit for under 35s - leaving him with only half of the money he needed to pay his rent – and potentially homeless. Even with the news that these cuts were to be scrapped by the government; Oliver continued with his preparations to find the additional income he needed with support from his Employment Support Worker, Perry Pinnock from Raven.

Even with the news that these cuts were to be scrapped by the government; Oliver continued with his preparations to find the additional income he needed with support from his Employment Support Worker, Perry Pinnock from Raven.

When asked about working with Perry,

Oliver told us:

“I have known Perry for nearly eight months now and he’s helped me an immeasurable amount.“When we first met I was on drugs and caught in a cycle thathe helped me escape from with sound advice, prompting and mentoring along the way.”

Oliver was prompted to sign up with a local GP surgery, to get help for his poor physical health. He was also encouraged to monitor how often he smoked cannabis by keeping a diary. These small lifestyle changes raised Oliver’s awareness of his habit. Attending regular appointments with Perry motivated him enough to start completing small tasks every week. As Oliver’s health was poor and activity level low, he was advised to engage in activities to help keep him motivated, whilst improving his physical and mental wellbeing. Until he was in the right physical condition, any work-related training was unrealistic.


After spending time with Oliver, it was discovered, that he had previously been a keen martial arts fighter and so he was encouraged by Perry to rekindle his love for the sport and demonstrate his commitment to improving his health.


Commenting on this, Oliver said,
“Perry has presented me with an opportunity to train in martial arts by buying me a three month gymmembership, which was funded by Raven. I’m highly thankful that my landlord would do such a thing!

“Bringing this recreational aspect into my life has allowed me to alignmy principles with health and given me something positive to worktowards. It’s also helped me gain more confidence socially, which I feelhas prepared me better for the work environment, where remainingpositive is so important.”

He added.

Oliver has made important changes over the last eight months, creating a much happier life for himself. Alongside his martial arts training, he has been volunteering his time at the community centre in Merstham, helping to run a chess club, and occasionally offering his services at a local café.


More recently, it’s been arranged for Oliver to work on a voluntary basis for a charity who recycle unwanted furniture. When we caught up with him, he told us: “Perry has arranged for me to work on avoluntary basis at Furnistore, which I start this month.

“I’m over the moon with Raven’s generosity in helping me in such aprofound way – which does sound exaggerated but it’s true. I really dofeel prepared for work now. Thank you Raven and thank you Perry!” Oliver will continue to be supported in the months ahead so that he can gain more confidence and skills and learn how to manage the stresses of working life. In time, he will begin to make applications for permanent work, armed with a strong list of references from his volunteering work.

Well done to Oliver and we wish him all the best with the rest of his journey.