"I grew up around Caerphilly and worked making rotary clothes dryers; spent two years at catering college in Ystrad Mynach and done security work and warehouse work at Cardiff Docks, so I have a variety of skills.
Growing up, life was okay and I was married at one time, but I’m of that generation where a job isn’t for life anymore and companies are going bankrupt and it’s the age of zero-hours contracts.
I found myself unemployed after being on the sick in my last job. I was doing split shifts which started to affect me physically and mentally and my back was playing up. At that time I was getting four hours of rest between shifts and it was absolutely horrible.
I was on the sick with my back for a month and after handing in a ‘return to work’ sick note I was sent a P45 form in the post and lost my job.
I was on Universal Credit and they told me about The Salvation Army and the Employment Plus programme and the work they were doing with Pedal Power and that there were opportunities for me here and now I come here to volunteer.
Volunteering here gets me out of the house and it shows that I want to work and I enjoy it.
It’s nice meeting new people and we hire out bikes here to people of different abilities and with numerous health conditions and I feel happy to be volunteering here to see the happiness on the faces of the people who come here for a bike ride.
It’s nice to see people enjoying the fresh air and being part of making that happen.I currently volunteer here for 20 hours a week and I usually do 4 to 5 hours a day during the evenings and afternoons.
I’m looking for regular work and this has helped my lower back problems and my back is now getting stronger. Volunteering here has given me something to put on my CV and boosted my self-respect and confidence.
The Salvation Army and Pedal Power have helped me a lot with my health conditions and I’d say to anyone out there who has got health conditions and is trying to find work, this is absolutely ideal because it gets you back into a work routine, teaches you new skills and boosts your confidence."