A life transformed – The story of our Charities impact

From severe brain damage and years of homelessness to finding work, rediscovering self-worth and reconnecting with his family. When Newground Together showed Jason Richards the power of learning, they didn’t just help turn his life around; they helped save it.

Every month, in the form of an article, we tell you how 100% of all profits generated by our business are gift aided to our parent charity, Newground Together. 

This month we wanted to tell you the Story of Jason.

For years, Jason Richards battled the effects of brain damage, which wiped his memories, ruined his relationships and left him homeless.

By the end of the pandemic lockdown, Jason found himself wholly isolated and even struggling to remember his two sons. 

In December 2021, Jason was staying in a temporary hotel room when he got a phone call that he believes saved his life. The call led him to our parent charity Newground Together. Through their support, Jason was able to find an apartment. Through this stability, Jasons’ short-term memory started to improve over time. 

The charity then saw an opportunity to help Jason develop new skills.

“Once my brain had finally rewired itself, I started a facilities management course that included work experience,” Jason explained. “I gained my Level 2 City & Guilds in Facilities Management.” 

Jason excelled in the course, so much so that it led Newground Together to offer a 12-month employment contract as an estate manager. Jason remained committed to ongoing growth as he honed his skills in caretaking, repairs management, and foundational estate operations. He pursued additional qualifications, including a C&G Level 2 certification in pesticide safety training, as well as completing first aid training and more.

“What is remarkable about Jason’s journey is that he has overcome so much,” said Hilary Lythgoe, Learning and Accreditation Coordinator at Newground Together. Learning has been pivotal not only in enabling him to secure his first job in years, but also in helping him rediscover his sense of self worth and reconnect with his family.

“He is already an inspiration to us and the residents with whom he works. We believe his story powerfully demonstrates the impact of learning and would be inspirational to anybody, especially those in despair.”

“I am so grateful for the chance to work,” continues Jason. Learning is what gave me that chance. It’s a wonderful job but it’s so much more than that. It’s a chance to say thank you to the people who saved my life and gave me back my sons.