Stacey Dooley has taught a group of teenagers an important life lesson after taking them to meet one man with a very inspiring story.
Documentary maker Stacey teamed up with a chap called Matt, who runs a Centrepoint hostel for homeless people, to explain to three youngsters just how precious having a job is – no matter what it is.
In a show made for CBBC, Stacey took the kids to work in a factory before introducing them to Matt, who found himself living in London without a roof over his head aged just 16.
Matt told them: “From being around 16 years old in London, I was homeless. It took until just before my 18th birthday to find stable accommodation. That time was the roughest time in my life.
“The worst thing you can not know about your own life is where it is going, where you are sleeping tonight.”
“It’s a nomadic life. You might choose this spot one night, and get soaked. You might move over there to shelter under a building the next. You’re moving around all the time.”
Stacey asked him: “If someone had come up to you when you were 16 and lying on the floor and said, ‘Actually, do you fancy a job down here in the factory’ what would you have said?”
Matt replied: “I would’ve jumped at it because that job, no matter what it is, gives you the money to put a roof over your head.”
Aged 18, Matt was introduced an organisation that previously ran Centrepoint Perry Vale in London’s Lewisham and, after being given a place to stay, began volunteering.
More than 14 years on, he is now managing a Centrepoint hostel with 70 beds for 16 to 25 year olds in Westminster.
Stacey said: “I’m so pleased [the youngsters] have had a chat with Matt. I think it’s given them real food for thought.
“They now recognise that any job is precious and there must be that certain level of respect. Even if it’s not your ideal career, it pays the bills and keeps the roof over your head.”
Catch up with Stacey and Matt on ‘Show Me What You’re Made Of’ here.