Tom is 24, single, and works part-time in the kitchen of the Royal Oak pub.
He lives in a room above the pub, which is provided free as long as he works there. He shares a bathroom with another member of staff.
Tom’s parents split-up when he was 10 – his father was an aggressive alcoholic, and he was put into care. He is very bright, and learns very quickly, but frequently missed school when he was younger, and has mental health issues. He was unemployed until 18 months ago, when he was offered a part-time job with accommodation.
It’s not well paid, and a pub definitely isn’t an ideal setting for someone with his background, but at least he has accommodation and a degree of independence.
He is quite unhappy, and craves stability. He wants to be valued and feel like a full member of the community. He also wants to make better use of his talents.
Tom is 54, and is a freelance technology consultant, specialising in image recognition and adaptation.
His ‘big break’ came in 2022, when The Taylors offered him part-time work helping to digitise Eileen’s photograph collection. His role to begin with was simply to arrange photos ready to be scanned. He gradually learned about the scanning process, and began to help assemble the digital galleries and perform some basic enhancements.
Tom has Asperger’s syndrome, which others originally perceived as him having ‘mental health issues’. The Taylors recognised that he was just ‘tuned a little differently’. They invested some time and energy in understanding him better, and helped build his confidence. Tom repaid their efforts by working hard and learning extremely quickly. Within a couple of years he was making a name for himself, and picking up new commissions all on his own.
Tom is now widely respected, both locally and much further afield.