Craig Walker left school at  the age of 13. After his mother passed away, he sought comfort in alcohol. However at the and, aged of 20 he became a father to a little girl whom he named Zara in memory of his mother. 

Zara gave Craig a reason to live and– he found temporary bar work however, but  a year later the bar closed down. Other applications for work failed and when his grandmother died, Craig plunged to a new low. Memories of his mother’s death haunted him; he became agoraphobic and couldn’t leave his house for three years.

Craig then realised he had to change things for the benefit of his daughter. His daughter’s request for an icecream changed everything.

Craig says:

Zara looked at me and said “Daddy, can I have an ice cream” and I just felt so useless and ashamed. I had no money and couldn’t get her one. Seeing her face crumble made me realise I had to turn my life around, for her sake and for my family.

Craig asked his local Jobs and Benefit’s Office about a programme being advertised called Make Your Mark,  a four-week employability programme run in partnership between The Prince’s Trust and Marks & Spencer. It was highly recommended and Craig hoped it would be the stepping stone he needed.

He learned many transferable skills during the programme, and his confidence and self-esteem flourished, too. Craig completed the course a changed – and employed - man. He now works at Marks & Spencer full time and was recently awarded employee of the month. He enjoys his work, has direction and, for the first time, is well on his way to achieving his goals of owning a family home and car.

Craig says:

It’s been 17 years since my mum died, and for the first time since then I feel like I’ve got a future I can actually look forward to. The Prince’s Trust gave me a second chance at life. They gave me and my family hope and as a consequence of that second chance, I’ve now got a job I love and a new home.

Craig plans to work his way up in Marks & Spencer and give his family a happy and healthy life.