Dan Jepson found himself homeless at 17. He experienced the trauma of losing his father at the age of nine and had a period of substance misuse. Following a long road of hard work and making the most of new opportunities, Dan’s life has now completely changed.
With the support of our homelessness services, Orchard Media and Events Group, and Principality Building Society, Dan now has a roof over his head, a spot on the Wales homeless rugby team and a permanent job in Cardiff.
Dan entered The Wallich’s services in Bridgend as a teenager, joining the local 18-21 Young People’s Project. He was offered a room and assigned a support worker to help him come to terms with the experiences that led to his homelessness, support his recovery from substance misuse and build the confidence to live independently.
Following impressive progress, Dan took on opportunities to reduce the chances of becoming homeless again. He participated in The Wallich’s six-month Working In Sustainable Employment (WISE) course to boost his confidence, skills and employability. WISE is made up of 1-2-1 and group workshops and impactful work placements.
Creating an opportunity
In what has become a watershed moment, Dan was offered a stint in the warehouse at the Orchard Media and Events Group HQ in the centre of Cardiff. He quickly became very popular with staff and showed a solid work ethic.
Orchard has now hired Dan in a full-time position, which will help him start a new chapter in his life and hopefully show others that employment after homelessness is possible.
Dan said: “The Wallich has been behind me 100%. It’s a long journey but I know now that I’m out the other side, I’m much happier now. I’ve settled into a privately rented flat, I have a child and I love my job at Orchard, it gives me a real buzz.”
Orchard Warehouse Manager, Mark Bull, said: “Dan’s a great lad and has really fitted in well. It just demonstrates what can happen when you give someone a chance.”
Tackling homelessness and the pitch
Incredibly, while making these huge life-changes, Dan has also been achieving in the sporting arena. He recently captained the Puffins Homeless Rugby Team, sponsored by Principality Building Society, and took part in the 2018 Homeless Rugby International Cup against the other home nations.
Principality’s coach James Harper said: “Dan has made a huge impression on us at the Principality and has become a key member of our new Puffins Homeless Rugby Team. It’s so cool to think he gets to play for Wales too!”
After the game James presented Dan with a signed training vest and boots from Wales skipper Corey Hill and hooker Scott Baldwin.