February 8 2016

Part II: Matthew Bambrick (In His Own Words)

The following is an experience shared by Matthew Bambrick about his ongoing interaction and support with Next Step After Care. It was written by Matthew of his own volition. Next Step After Care commends his beautiful story telling and writing style. Thank you, Matthew, for the charisma, grace, and perseverance you continuously exhibit.

You may remember Matthew from six months ago. Matthew had been couch surfing from mate’s place to mate’s place. His brand new bicycle got nicked. Matthew was trapped with no mode of transport, and no place to call his own. You can read about Matthew’s first Next Step experience here. Next Step helped Matthew secure his very first apartment and a brand new bicycle to replace his stolen one.

In the last six months, Matthew has experienced a ~wheely~ huge upgrade. Here is Matthew’s story in his own words.

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“NEXTSTEP HELPED ME TAKE MY NEXTSTEP “

WRITTEN BY MATTHEW BAMBRICK

AS ALL TEENAGERS WE ASPIRE TO REACH THE TOP OF WHATEVER WE DO – BUT LIVING AS A KID IN CARE THE RESOURCES AND SUPPORT WAS VERY LIMTED, WELL UNTIL NOW.

Recently I purchased myself a car in the hope to take that next step in my life!!  I didn’t have a licence, knew nothing about cars, but I just couldn’t pass the opportunity to purchase a car I liked. That day the car was delivered and all was sweet – that’s what I thought at least.

I still had that issue of being unlicensed – temptation really got hold of me then; I mean hey, I’m 19 years old with new wheels, who wouldn’t want to jump in and check it out? I looked around the car inspecting it from bottom to top and from top to bottom. As I was doing this I received a call from NEXTSTEP  – the call was a check up call to see how I’m going, they then asked “so what’s new “ and so I told them about the car .

Nextstep asked me if I was tempted to drive and I stated I was, so later that week I handed in the keys for safe keeping, and to prevent anything stupid from happening. Nextstep reinforced the consequences of what would happen if I got caught driving unlicensed; had an accident whilst uninsured; injured somebody in an accident… WOW. I didn’t even think of this type of stuff. It was a wakeup call.

Within that week Nextstep had organised TILA (Transition into Living Allowance) for me to pay for a couple of extra driving lessons before I went for my P’s test, which was also paid for out of my TILA funding.

Within two weeks I did the MUCH NEEDED lessons, sat my P’s test, and passed (1st Go!).

Thanks to NEXTSTEP, I got my licence and I was on my way – a new door, new opportunity.

I went home and the first thing I did was jump in the car, but to my surprise it wasn’t running that well. So, I called up a mobile mechanic to come out and check out what’s wrong – big mistake

Upon arriving the mechanic inspected the car and quoted a million things wrong with it, he gave me the price and said “I can have it fixed, but first you need to pay “. I knew nothing about what he was talking about, I thought what he is saying must be true and the price was fair: oh, how wrong was I?! The mechanic left, stating he would be back in the morning to start the job.

My Nextstep Coordinator Andrew arrived to hand me some mail from when I had been away. I showed him the quote from the mechanic and immediately Andrew told me I was getting extorted. Andrew said because of my age and the mechanic knowing that I didn’t know about cars, the mechanic was taking me for a ride. Andrew pointed out that franchises normally have a higher prices as they have to recoup the money that they pay to be a franchisee. Lesson learnt (thanks Nextstep): “be very wary of Franchises compared to the everyday services that are available”.

I knew beforehand that I should have contacted Nextstep for support, but due to my stubbornness and my thought of “I’m an adult. I know; I can do it on my own,” I almost got over charged at a massive amount.

Andrew rang the mechanic on my behalf and said I was no longer going through with the job and that it was not needed – absolute life saver. Even though the mechanic insisted to Andrew that it was happening the next day, Andrew reinforced that it was a quote only and that if he (mechanic) didn’t have paperwork signed by me giving consent for the job then the job was not going ahead. This all took place at 7pm at night at my house outside of working hours, as I was in a difficult spot before mechanic showed up the next day. The mechanic didn’t have my signature, so he knew he couldn’t do the job.

A couple days later Nextstep organised for my car to get a major service and repairs done to it, all paid from my TILA. The cost of the car service was half what the franchise mechanic was going to charge me, and the things the franchise mechanic quoted were in need of fixing didn’t need fixing at all.

So many young people do not know about TILA. Here’s my advice to you: ask your Nextstep coordinator if you have used yours, or if you are entitled to any other funding!

Today I’m on the open road and where ever it leads me I’ll always remember I’m here because of NEXTSTEP. I have a licence, a car on the road and hopefully the start of many opportunities for me.

So, what I’m saying here is Nextstep isn’t just another organisation that offers support, NEXTSTEP is different. NEXTSTEP helps you take YOUR next step and they do it walking right beside you.

Thanks Nextstep – you absolute life savers!

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