Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
146 Bolton Road
Tel: 0161 736 5866
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SIX months ago Ryan Williams was homeless moving from sofa to sofa and waking up in Stockport Train Station.
Ryan hit rock bottom before he discovered one of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service's Prince's Trust teams.
"I saw an advert in the paper and somehow I got hold of the team leader's number, I gave her a ring and by the skin of my teeth managed to get on the course," he said.
Before starting his journey with GMFRS Ryan was unemployed and short of qualifications. He said: "I had GCSEs but when you come out of school what does that mean to an employer? Absolutely nothing.
"I dropped out of college and didn't even have a place to live, so I couldn't commit myself to anything."
Ryan was just 17 when he found himself on the streets and his age made it difficult to apply for social housing.
He said: "It was the usual breakdown of family, but being 17 at the time I couldn't get any housing, so I moved from settee to settee.
"The Prince's Trust were quite understanding, they rang round all the housing associations and tried to help me."
Ryan applied for his apprenticeship with GMFRS and applied for a flat at the same time, two days after moving in he started his job.
He said his Community Safety Apprenticeship has given him "a fighting chance" when his life could have gone in a very different direction.
"It's funny because a lot of the people you go and see I can almost recognise myself in them a little bit. You're looking at the other side of the coin all of a sudden.
"Giving other people advice how to live their life is a concept I'm still getting used to. It could just as easily have been me," he said.
Now Ryan wants to give it his all to secure a permanent job with GMFRS - an organisation he is extremely proud to work for.
He said: "I'm on an apprenticeship and it's a 12 month contract, so when it runs out there's no guarantee of a job. I've just got to give it my all and do my best.
"It's so easy to just slip into the crowd and into the big casserole of people, who are circling around life going nowhere, but I feel like I've established myself as part of a public sector organisation.
"I represent the emergency services, you're that card just popping a little bit out of the deck - it's a good feeling."