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  • A Chance Encounter - Colette’s Story

  • Apprentice Joiner

Posted: 28 December 2023

COVID-19 impacted thousands of people across our communities, with many people losing their jobs and being unable to work – a story Colette unfortunately knows all too well – but thanks to a chance conversation with a HMS Gas Engineer, it was also the start of a completely new book for her.

“Before COVID-19, I worked in bars but when we went into lockdown, I found myself unemployed and with no idea what to do.”

As the contracting arm of the Torus Group, HMS manages all 40,000 homes in its portfolio – including Colette’s – and it is thanks to a meeting with a HMS Gas Engineer, who was completing an annual Gas Safety Check, that Colette is where she is today.

“We got chatting and he asked me if everything was okay since lockdown, and I opened up about losing my job. That’s when he mentioned Torus, HMS and the Torus Foundation and how they can help people back into work. Well, after he left, I went online and before I knew it was in FireFit Hub doing a boxing session with Natasha Jonas, completing the Women in Construction course and finishing up a two-week work placement on the tools at HMS!

“The rest is history really. My work placement grew into a bigger opportunity, then I applied for the apprenticeships when they opened and here I am now; two months into my joinery apprenticeship.

“Thanks to the support from HMS and the Torus Foundation, I’m in a career I never even considered for myself and working towards gaining a qualification and a skill that’ll last forever.”


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