On Wednesday 17th July 2019 our Operations Manager James was voted “Business Personality of the Year” at the Sheffield Star Small Business Awards and we couldn’t be prouder of him.
In accepting the award, he praised the Cathedral Archer Project (CAP) and our Just Works Programme, which have helped him become such a success at work and an inspiration to others.
He was later interviewed by The Star’s managing editor Rob Hollingworth and the story even making the front page of the paper the following Monday.
James said at the time:
“It’s still sinking in, it feels amazing…“I’m very proud to win this award and be in a situation where I can be a good role model for my children, I have had outstanding care. “It also reinforces why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’d say to anyone in the situation I was in that it’s never too late, ask for help because no one can do it on their own and if it feels scary and daunting it’s probably the best thing for you.”
After moving to Sheffield in 2012, James slept on a friend’s floor and used the Cathedral Archer Project for two-and-a-half years before deciding he’d had enough.
He started volunteering at CAP and after four months joined the Just Works Programme. It led to him working at Printed By Us when it launched over three years ago.
James, who was born in Hayfield, Derbyshire, was involved in drugs for 17 years. In that time he lived in tents, ‘sofa-surfed’ and was homeless for seven years after losing his flat in North Wales.
He said: “It was a desperate existence.”
Now, he lives with partner Joanna, her six-year-old son and their triplet boys. The boys were born in March 2018, just after he became operations manager at Printed By Us.
James said: “It was massively challenging, an incredibly intense period of round-the-clock care.
“Just Works have always believed in me and supported me, I want to thank programme manager Terry Murphy and all the staff at the Cathedral Archer Project.”
The Star’s Rob, who was also one of the Small Business Awards judges said: “We were impressed by James' journey from a desperate situation to one which gives hope to all of us.
“His determination to make something of himself and his appetite to learn shows just what can be achieved with hard work and a positive attitude.
“The judges agreed James is a credit to the project which supported him - and to himself.”
We’re also proud to be developing a team of people with similar backgrounds to James who are all developing with similar success to happy and fulfilled lives. Check out the rest of our team here »
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