A teenager who was determined to prove his potential after hearing difficulties hindered his education has now sealed his future as a professional tradesman.
Lloyd Elliff made a heartfelt plea through the Evening Press 18 months ago for a York firm to offer him a much-needed training placement, to enable him to pursue his dream job.
Two York organisations took Lloyd under their wing, and with their support he has now qualified as a competent gas engineer and secured his first job with a city-based company.
Lloyd, of Carr Lane, Acomb, struggled at school, not initially knowing he had a hearing impairment which amplifies background noise and makes conversation difficult to pick up. The problem was only detected when he was nine, but hearing aids at that time made background noise even louder, they stuck out and caused him eczema – so he refused to wear them.
As a teenager, Lloyd was determined to make up for his “lost” education, and prove what he was capable of. He set his sights on plumbing, before then plumping for gas engineering.
After his story appeared in the Press, he was offered support by Alan Sayer, of YH Training Services, which helps people get back to work, and Mike Broomhead, of MPK, a gas, oil and plumbing training and assessment centre. They provided the training and hard-to-find work experience to bring Lloyd up to examination standard which saw him working as an apprentice with the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT). He passed his exams in February.
“It is amazing,” said Lloyd, now 19. “Everyone has really supported me and given me that little push to keep me going. If I hadn’t come across Alan Sayer and MPK where would I be now? It is hard to say. It has been difficult at times, but this is what I want to be doing.”
He added: “People get used to my hearing. They know my difficulties and have been very supportive with that. If you really want something in life, never mind if a disability holds you back, you have to just go for it.”
Mr Sayer said: “Lloyd’s education background wasn’t the best because of his hearing problem. MPK, YH Training and JRHT made adjustments, recognising the difficulties he had. We have helped him overcome them to the point where he is an ace ‘A’ grade student.”
Lloyd’s mum Janice paid tribute to the team which supported him. She said: “Right from the beginning they had faith in him. I knew he had the capability and determination to do what he wanted, but it is overwhelming what everyone has done for him. It is fantastic.”