A DUDLEY teenager has overcome a double tragedy to land his dream job after help from community cops.
Shaun Abbott, from Dudley, endured the pain of coping with the death of both his parents within 18 months but continued to work towards becoming an apprentice plumber – the career he had discussed with his mother shortly before her death in March last year.
The 16-year-old, who worked as a volunteer at the City Can Cycle charity, was devastated by the loss when neighbourhood PCSO Omar Shariff stepped in to help.
PCSO Shariff suggested to Shaun that he could join a popular police-led scheme aimed at people his age, to give him something positive to focus on.
The innovative Prince’s Trust Team programme has been running for seven years offering mentoring and guidance to people aged between 16 and 25 and includes a 12-week personal development course offering work experience, qualifications, practical skills, community projects and a residential week.
The youngster proved to be an exemplary Team member but suffered another blow when his father was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Despite his father’s illness he continued to attend the project and completed a placement with a bathroom company in Wall Heath.
On the night of a presentation event to mark the end of his course Shaun’s dad was rushed to hospital and tragically died on the last day of the programme.
Amazingly Shaun carried on to complete his course work and his dedication impressed bosses at Wall Heath Bathrooms so much they offered him a full-time apprenticeship.
PCSO Hayley Giles, Shaun’s mentor, said: “Despite everything he went through, Shaun wanted to do everything that was asked of him and nothing seemed to faze him. He kept his spirit going and was just so committed.
"He told his mum it was his dream to become a plumber and he did her proud by going out and making his dream come true − he’s an inspiration," said PCSO Giles.
"I can’t even begin to think what Shaun’s been through but in the face of real adversity he’s worked so hard to build a better future for himself. He truly deserves every success."