Stuart works as a Teaching Assistant on BCHA’s Ignite courses and Personal Development Skills workshops, helping participants to improve their job prospects and self-confidence. His service was recognised with the Valiant Volunteer award at the Bchangemakers Building the Future Together event.

“I am a qualified architect and had an extensive career but I was always involved in art and creativity. I had faced struggles but I’d clawed my way up in life.

“I was stuck in a rut and interested to get involved in a support role helping other people. I met someone in a coffee shop who, just by chance, mentioned BCHA and the good work they do with helping personal development.

“I needed a way forward – and I realised that I needed BCHA more than they needed me at that time. So the whole thing turned around and I started on a two-year programme of workshops and courses through the Ignite programme, including Skills for Supporting Others and Personal Development Skills.

“I had no teaching skills but BCHA showed an interest in me and asked if I’d like to come in and support others with artwork as a volunteer teaching assistant.

“The support and training that I received motivated me to make significant life choices through my own personal development” 

“I’ve taken every opportunity I’ve been given and everything BCHA has offered me has helped me move forward, boosting my confidence and my own personal awareness. I have been on a massive personal journey, supported by BCHA.

“Last year I gained my qualification as a Teaching Assistant.  I currently facilitate the Art as Relaxation workshops for people on the Ignite six-week programme and take an active role in supporting coaches and assisting learners with IT Level One, Digital Life Skills, PDS and group trips. It’s so rewarding, both for me and those on the course too. 

“I’m now part-way through a Leading Workshops course organised by Outside In. My own experiences have really pushed me forward and I’ve found out how much I enjoy teaching.  

“One day I plan to develop and deliver my own workshops, continuing with training and teaching. 


You can hear Stuart’s story below:


Stuart’s piece of advice for changemakers:

Being inspired and encouraged by others so as to support and motivate people who need help is a valuable gift

  • £5 can provide a bus fare for a day to access activities and appointments
  • £60 can provide a new outfit for a person coming to us from the street with no clothing other than what they come in wearing.
  • £1,000 keeps a Rough Sleeper in emergency accommodation for a month
  • £5,000 would buy 60 starter packs for customers moving into a new home, which would include, kitchen starter set, dinner set, Bathroom towel set, duvet, pillows, full bedding set
  • £10,000 would currently cover the interest cost on a private finance loan of around £333,000 that could fund the building of around three new homes