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Albert turned his life around with baking and comedy

Albert's Story

Fortunately, someone put me in touch and Cavell Nurses' Trust helped me a great deal.

Birmingham nurse, Albert, was put in touch with us in 2012 when his life hit rock bottom. 

"I was in dire straits after becoming mentally ill. I was just living off benefits and got into debt. I had to stop nursing because of my mental illness, but I couldn't afford to pay my nursing council registration fee because I couldn't get any money together.

"I used to go into states of depression, with the mental illness also complicated by diabetes.

"The worst breakdown was when I reached the decision that I couldn't work anymore."

"But, fortunately, someone put me in touch with Cavell Nurses' Trust about 18 months ago and they have helped and supported me a great deal."

Cavell Nurses' Trust assisted Albert with a single grant of £76 to pay for his vital Nursing & Midwifery Council registration fee so he could carry on working as a bank nurse.

The charity also provided a regular weekly grant of £30 as well as £400 from The Rowlands Trust to further help meet the cost of his living expenses.

Albert, who came to the UK from South Africa in 1996, is now trying to rebuild his life with the help of his new role as a stand-up comedian. 

"I went to see my psychiatrist one day during a particularly bad time and there was a pamphlet in the clinic saying would you like to build up your confidence, make new friends. and speak over a microphone? It was the microphone that drew me.

"I didn't know at the time that they had a little comedy showcase at the end of the course and people laughed, and I laughed, and that was the start of the recovery."

He has also started up his own artisan bakery called Ubuntu where he bakes bread for around 20 hours a week on average, while managing to work just a handful of hours a week as an agency nurse.

"I now work about eight hours a week for an agency. I would like to do more hours but it just becomes too stressful."

In February 2014, Albert hosted what he hopes will be the first of many comedy gigs in Birmingham to raise money for Cavell Nurses' Trust.

"I knew about Edith Cavell from when I was in South Africa because there was an Edith Cavell street in Johannesburg. So, when I got into nursing I found out more about who she was.

"Now that Cavell Nurses' Trust has helped me I want to give something back, which is why I am putting on this comedy night in aid of them."

Click here to contact Cavell Nurses' Trust

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