My name is Max Everett. I was 17 when my father died. I went to nearby Sheffield University to study Architectural Technology partly so that I could be close to support my mother and brother. Unfortunately, I failed my first year due to personal difficulties but, after resitting my exams, I qualified with a first class degree.
After graduation I quickly found a job with a large firm so things seemed to be on the up. But then in 2010 I was caught in the first wave of redundancies to hit the company and – to add to my problems – I broke my leg. Looking for work was doubly difficult. As the months went by, my debts increased and I nearly lost my home.
I knew I had to take two positive actions to change my life, so I started a small surveying company with a university friend, and I contacted the Architects Benevolent Society. It was at that time my brother was diagnosed with Leukaemia. After a period of intense treatment, he went for a stem cell transplant and I found out I was compatible enough to be his donor. I'd do anything for my brother, but it meant I was unable to work for an extended period once again.
It was at this time that the ABS really made a huge difference in my life.
The ABS supported me and helped clear priority debts which had mounted up and, by helping me with my needs, the ABS enabled me to be there for my brother in his bleakest hour. Now I am physically recovered I am able to build up my business and go forward in life without worrying about debts or losing my home.
When things are difficult, I know the ABS is there to help me manage, even in the most difficult of circumstances.