A Weaver Vale Housing Trust tenant has spoken about how his passion for music has helped him during his cancer battle.
Aaron Lambert is back doing what he loves – teaching youngsters how to play the guitar – thanks to the help of New Leaf.
Aaron has always had a passion for music since he picked up a guitar for the first time aged 12.
It was Aaron’s passion for music that kept him going a year later when he was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare and aggressive type of cancer that affects both the bones and soft tissue. Aaron underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy, surgery. Eventually Aaron was forced to have an amputation of his leg.
Aaron said: “It was a really tough few years. I wasn’t well and I was home-schooled for a few years before I was well enough to study for my GCSEs. I went back to school at 15 and completed my studies. I then went on to complete a foundation degree in Music with distinction. During this time the cancer came back with vengeance; as a result I had to have part of my lung removed and a metal plate installed in my chest.
“Music, and especially playing the guitar, got me through it. Playing the guitar has been my saviour – it has taken my mind off things over the years and I have a real passion for it. I knew I wanted it to be a big part of my life going forward.”
Aaron was true to his word, after studying at college he went on to become a guitar tutor at a local secondary school.
Aaron added: “I loved teaching – seeing young people learn and develop the same passion for music as I have has been hugely rewarding.”
Unfortunately, Aaron suffered further complications with his chest plate and was forced to give up the job he loved.
He said: “I had worked at the school for a few years so I was gutted to leave. I simply wasn’t well enough to continue.
“It left me depressed and frustrated – once again this disease had robbed me of my passion. I’m fortunate enough to have a really supportive wife and family and they helped get me through some really dark times.”
Encouraged by his wife Caroline, Aaron decided to seek support form New Leaf – a Cheshire-wide programme designed to help people improve their skills, confidence and get closer to employment
“I went in with an open-mind. I was determined to get back into things – especially when it came to guitar tuition I just needed some support to help me get started again.
“New Leaf was brilliant, the mentors gave me a lot of support and advice. New Leaf also paid for me to undertake my Level 3 Education & Training Qualification – which will really open up some doors for me.
“I am still recovering but I’m back tutoring now. I have also had discussions about going back to teach guitar in schools which I am really excited about. I have missed that so much.
“I can’t thank New Leaf enough for supporting me. It has been a tough few years, but I am really excited about the future.”
New Leaf brings together partners as well as employers from across Warrington and Cheshire to change lives, create opportunities and make a positive contribution to local communities and the regional economy.
The project is funded by the Building Better Opportunities programme, funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.
If you have been inspired by Aaron’s story and would like help getting into training, education or employment, get in touch with us on 01606 813 546 or email firstname.lastname@example.org