Meet Ryan, an army veteran. 👋 If you passed Buckingham Palace to watch the Trooping the Colour in the early 90s - you may have seen him! Ryan followed his Dad into the army and became part of the Blues and Royals, the mounted regiment of the Household Cavalry.

Ryan at Buckingham Palace - Trooping the Colour in the early 90s

Unfortunately, Ryan's life took a turn for the worse at the beginning of 2018, which resulted in him becoming homeless. It was at this point that he was introduced to Beam and helped back into work. We recently caught with Ryan to find out more about his story, how Beam supported him and see how he's doing 5 years later...

What was your life like before Beam?

After I left the army, I moved to the USA and got a job in trucking. I built my whole life in America - gained a green card, had kids, bought a house, and ran a successful business…

But in the blink of an eye, disaster struck. My immigration papers caused a series of events that resulted in me losing everything. After 18 years in the U.S, I returned to the UK with nothing but the clothes on my back. I was street homeless.

How were you connected with Beam?

I was looking for funding to try and get me back to HGV driving or truck driving - that’s what I did in America. Veterans Aid put me in touch with Beam - and Beam gave me that focus, understanding and hope that there is something waiting for me. They told me it was going to be okay and helped me get back on my feet.

Tell us about your caseworker, how did they support you?

I will never forget my caseworker, Anna! She gave me that reassurance to help get my life back, which was great.

I remember walking into the office for the very first time with her… I was so nervous, wondering if she could really help me or not, but she was very reassuring and comforting. She supported me right from the beginning, calmed my nerves and helped me get my HGV licence.

Ryan's campaign

Can you remember your Beam campaign going live?

When I sat down with Anna and she told me how it works, I was very sceptical because I didn't think there were people out there that would want to support me like that. But there is, and it’s because Beam has brought those people together.

Thanks to Beam’s community, 508 kind strangers raised over £4,300 to fund my training and licence, helping me to kickstart my future in the UK.

Ryan at work

What's your life like now?

Life couldn't be better. I’m happy where I’m at right now - and I’m happy where I live, with my two little dogs.

I’m now a Lorry Driver at New Era Fuels - and I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I find my job really rewarding because I help supply fuel for the NHS, even throughout the whole pandemic.

Beam will always be a part of me and my story - no matter what. I feel a part of a family, and there's a big sense of community when you know there are so many people out there that care and are willing to support you.

Ryan at Beam's '1,000 Lives Changed' party

Do you have a message for your supporters?

You’re not just changing someone's life: you’re saving it. So to all my supporters, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart, for supporting me.

Ryan's campaign wrapped 🎁

💰 £4,329 raised | 🙌 508 supporters

You can check out Ryan's campaign, here.

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