Joe’s Story: “I have received all the support I could ever want”

“I’ve been interested in photography my whole life and have always found that photography is able to capture something unique and make other people really think about what they’re looking at,” explains Joe, a client in one of our Young People’s services.

“I love being outdoors and taking photos because it allows you to be as free as you wish with no constraints. You can take something mundane and transform it into anything.”

Joe’s love of photography and technology has seen him enrol onto a University Computing course, not long after he had moved into a furnished tenancy as part of Horton Housing’s Intensive Housing Management service.

“I have received all the support I could ever want, it’s been amazing,” he commented. “Because I was unsure whether going to University would impact my Universal Credit, the support I had put me in contact with the right people to be able to sort that out. They helped me throughout the University application process.”

An A-Level student initially during his time with Horton Housing’s Young People’s services, Joe received regular support, from working through his Universal Credit journal, food shopping and budgeting, collecting medication and engaging with the local community for VE Day celebrations and the NHS Clap for Carers. This support helped Joe prepare for University life and he is enjoying his course so far.

“I’ve settled in pretty well. The first few weeks have been an induction so I imagine it will get tougher as time goes on but at the moment I’m settling in nicely. I’ve found the time management quite easy so far, especially during lockdown, because I haven’t been able to do anything that important so I find the time to be able to sit down and focus,” he added.

Having been diagnosed with mental health issues previously, Joe believes that having a regular routine for his classes has been very beneficial for his mindset and has helped him during the last month of the current lockdown period.

It’s so much better! It’s so much better having something to do when I’ve been stuck inside. I like going outside; I love nature and everything else to do with that. I think my assignments will go well. Because it’s a course where I work from home, I don’t have to go into the University and manage my time that way, I have all the resources I need.”

As well as having his photography published by a number of different outlets, Joe has become a young person’s commissioner, a member of the West Yorkshire Police Steering Group and participates in University research projects. These rewarding roles are a stepping stone to where he sees his future career ambitions.

I’ve always wanted to be a youth worker. I know that is different to the University course or photography, but I’ve always been interested in how young people’s minds work. I know it’s different but after being in youth services in Calderdale for a few years now, it’s nice to see how that works. With the design side of things, I imagine a lot of the skills are transferrable. Young people like designing; it’s nice to see young people expressing how they think through design and art in general.”

To view more of Joe’s photography, click here.