A 23-YEAR-OLD man from Trowbridge has shared how a local charity helped him turn his life around after tragedy.

Travis Crowman was nearly made homeless in January 2020 after his father was moved to a hospice and passed away.

He was unable to continue living in their home and was referred to the Amber Foundation by his sister and moved almost immediately.

Mr Crowman said: “After my sister put me forward for Amber, I spoke to someone there who told me how it all worked and I was keen to move in as quickly as possible – it sounded like it could really help me.”

The Amber Foundation gives young people who are homeless or unemployed the opportunity to get back on their feet by offering them accommodation where they can start to discover their potential and develop more skills and experience.

Initially he found the transition difficult, but it has been worth the wait for him to come out of his shell at the foundation.

He added: “When I first arrived, I stayed in my room a lot and kept myself to myself, only really coming out to meals.

“Gradually, with the help of my keyworker Kirsty, I started to feel less shy and anxious and more able to socialise and get involved with the things that were going on there.

Mr Crowman has now got much more comfortable with his new life and is a key part of the community the charity has built.

He explained: “I feel like I’m a much better person for coming to Amber, more confident and better able to get on with my life. I’m hoping to stay about another five or six months, and then I think I’ll be ready to move on, thanks to the support I’ve had here.”

He has been leading a busy life since being at Amber, and has taken part in an Ocean Youth Trust sailing trip as well as currently studying on a 12-week Prince’s Trust course.

The course teaches people the key skills for writing CVs and prepares them for mock interviews which helps people like Travis get back into employment.

Ed Nelson, The Amber Foundation Centre manager in Wiltshire said: ‘We are so impressed with Travis’ resilience and determination. He has gone from strength to strength since arriving at Amber, seizing every opportunity with both hands.

“Having Travis here with us over the Christmas period will be wonderful. He is well-liked and respected by his peers and always so cheerful. We can’t wait to see what 2022 with bring for Travis.”

The Amber Foundation, which has centres in Devon, Wiltshire and Surrey, is taking part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge geared towards raising funds so they can continue to help people get their lives back on track.

Alex Day, director of The Big Give said: "We’ve learnt from our survey that many are worried they are likely to be struggling in one way or another over Christmas."

The survey by The Big Give found that one in ten people is worried about housing insecurity this Christmas so organisers feel that donations are now more important than ever.