Scott volunteered as a peer mentor and is now in paid employment. He shared his story with us.
I had been using drugs for 36 years and spent over 10 years in prison. I had little contact with my family and my life was going nowhere.
By chance, I attended a meeting in Manchester and it planted a seed – I finally decided to go into recovery and ended up moving from Coventry to Manchester.
I had been clean 10 months, when I met Jill from Step Together. I was struggling with my own thoughts and feelings, I had no routine and felt like I had no purpose. I had recently been turned down for a volunteering role and the organisation I had applied to, referred me to Step Together for further support and advice.
Jill listened to me, she was easy to talk to. We discussed a variety of volunteering options that she had found. Setting me up with a peer mentor role with Humankind was the best thing that happened. I have undoubtedly grown on a personal and professional level and it has opened up avenues of skills that I didn’t even know I had.
I finally realised I had a purpose and knew what I wanted to do. I feel happy, content, valued and useful. I really feel part of the team.
Everything started to change when I began volunteering. I have now been clean for almost 2 years and I have taken a job at another organisation, as a part time support worker, supporting clients as they start their own recovery.
I have a job, I am volunteering every week, I have friends, people care about me and I have a life. I’m a responsible, respected and productive member of society.
Jill and Step Together have helped me get to where I am today. Jill believed in me and I’m so grateful for all her support.
Looking to the future now, I really would like my own place and following a housing panel next month, I will hopefully start bidding for accommodation. I’m confident about my future and once I have somewhere permanent to live, I will start to look at full time work.
All the negative labels given to me by society, through my offending and addiction, are now my assets – I now believe in myself and have the self-worth to know they are no longer negative but positive.
Find out more about our programmes in Manchester.