Yarmouth man unlocks a brighter future

FEW of us would want to face being made redundant at Christmas - and with the added stress of your wife expecting a fourth child.But when Great Yarmouth man Roy Smith, 28, should have been planning a happy Christmas with lots of presents for the children and good food, he instead had to deal with the heartbreak of losing his £34,000-a-year job as a duty train crew manager.

FEW of us would want to face being made redundant at Christmas - and with the added stress of your wife expecting a fourth child.

But when Great Yarmouth man Roy Smith, 28, should have been planning a happy Christmas with lots of presents for the children and good food, he instead had to deal with the heartbreak of losing his £34,000-a-year job as a duty train crew manager.

He was made redundant from in November last year.

Roy recalled: “Christmas was heartbreaking for the children because we had everything planned out and it was going to be a good Christmas, but then I lost my job.”

The family were forced to move out of their private rented accommodation and into their current council property in Clarendon Close. Out went many of the comforts the family had enjoyed, including satellite TV and the internet, and even the family car.

Roy said: “It was more upsetting because my salary went from £1,700 a month to being on the dole, so it was a big step down.”

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However, he has now literally opened the door to a brighter future after retraining as a locksmith with a little help from two Yarmouth agencies: Better Futures Project and enterpriseGY.

He opted for the locksmith trade because he wanted to start up his own business and he liked the idea of helping to protect people's homes.

Roy contacted Better Futures after being told by the Jobcentre he could not receive funding to achieve his aim of becoming a locksmith because he had not been signed on the dole for six months.

The Project paid for him to go on a one-week training course in Knebworth where he learned his trade. enterpriseGY then provided him with financial assistance to start his company Lock Genie as well as help with setting up a business plan and creating cash flow forecasts.

But most of the hard work has come from Roy, who worked long hours to get the business up-and-running.

He said: “I knew it was something I always wanted to do, but I had to put in the hard work, although enterpriseGY were there to supply the resources and give me the training to do a business plan, which I have never had to do because I have always worked for others. It is interesting but quite hard work if you have never done that kind of thing.”

On Thursday last week he was virtually ready to start his business, except for 10,000 publicity leaflets which he expected to arrive within days.

Roy added: “I know there are people out there who are in the same boat I was and don't know where to turn. But NWES and enterprisegy are there and if you are 100pc committed on what you want to do and put the work in they will help you.”

To contact Lock Genie, phone 01493 852094 or 07971 195171.