In December 2015, Jason Petch found himself homeless and living on the streets of Hull. He was sleeping rough on the streets before coming into contact with the William Booth Hostel, which connected him with the Department for Work and Pension’s (DWP) Britannia Jobcentre Plus.


Just six months later, Jason is now a new business owner of Humanities Voice, Life and Business Coaching – a business he set up with the help of DWP’s New Enterprise Allowance scheme, which is delivered by Pinnacle People (part of Pinnacle Group).


Below is an extract from Jason Petch’s story:


“In December 2015 I found myself homeless and living on the streets of Hull, sleeping in Pickering Park and walking more than 90 miles in four days. I eventually found myself in the William Booth Hostel, which is where I was connected with Britannia Jobcentre and, amongst other things, signed up to the Jobseeker’s Benefit. Given I had nothing at the time, I was provided with an emergency £75 payment. This payment saved my life – it allowed me to see my family again and allowed me to apply for work as an equal.


During my time here and with the support of my advisor, I applied for more 430 vacancies. I worked for one company for a month but ended up leaving as the role wasn’t suitable due to unethical business practices. I applied for a few more jobs but gradually became disillusioned with the way I was perceived by employers. However, the support never ended. With the help and encouragement of my advisors, I decided to make a big decision – to become self-employed and to start living my life. [This was] definitely the correct one for me.


I was accepted on the New Enterprise Allowance scheme with Pinnacle People. They helped set me up and gave me the confidence to know I was ready. I didn’t need a business plan, I just needed myself. The afternoon spent with Pinnacle will be one that I will remember – the will to succeed came from everyone there. The way they structure the assistance helps keep you calm at an incredibly big time in your life. I left the scheme after two weeks and went on to a future as a sole-trading business man.


I am now working as a self-employed life coach and a positive business coach. I have also started a new charity supporting homeless people and communities and I have a flat full of furniture. I am incredibly lucky however there is one thing that brought me to this point – the fact that I never, ever gave up.


You can live your dreams you just need to take a leap. You can’t thrive if you don’t strive for all you could be.”


Since 2015, Pinnacle People has supported more than 5,000 people nationally through the New Enterprise initiative to start up new businesses.


Pinnacle People Contract Manager Jack Morgan said:


“The New Enterprise Allowance is a government scheme designed to help unemployed people start up their own business.


“Starting a business in the UK has never been more popular. New Enterprise Allowance offers a fantastic opportunity for people – regardless of their background – to build a business on their own terms and in their own way, irrespective of how large or small the venture might be.


Inspirational stories such as Jason’s are the reason we come to work every day – helping people take back control of their lives and thrive as a new business owner is incredibly rewarding. We will continue to support Jason and wish him the very best success going forward on his new journeyJack Morgan – Contract Manager, Pinnacle People

DWP Employer and Partnership Manager Gill Dillon said:

“It is great to see that, since New Enterprise Allowance was first launched in 2011, almost 2,000 people across Hull and East Yorkshire have accessed a range of support to help them start their own business.

“Financial support is available from DWP during the first six months of trading, providing extra help during those crucial first months.


Jason’s story is a great example of how he has been able to transform his life and in doing so, help and inspire others who may find themselves in the same position as he once was. We wish him every success for the future,” she said.
Gill Dillon – Employer and Partnership Manager, DWP