My name is Andy, I’m 50 years old, I’m from Bristol and I have been a drug addict all my adult life.
In 2007 I hit an absolute rock bottom and decided I needed help. I was referred to a residential treatment centre in Bournemouth, where I was looked after for six months.
With support I managed to get clean and decided to move into privately rented accommodation for the next two years. However, I relapsed after just six months and as a result I was evicted and back at rock bottom.
Homeless, broken and desperate, I sought help from the local housing office who offered me a placement in supported housing. It was here that I first met Kath and Lin.
Over the next seven years I was evicted many times due to broken rules, a breach of tenancy and unacceptable behaviour, but Kath and Lin continued to welcome me back with open arms. They never deemed me a lost cause and could see something in me I could not see in myself.
In January 2019, I finally decided I was done with addiction and was ready to save my own life. I knew this was life or death – my addiction was going to kill me if I carried on the way I was going!
I entered myself into another local residential treatment centre where over the years I had seen many of my friends come out the other side with a new zest for life. This time I took it seriously like never before.
Since coming out of the treatment centre, I have utilised all the tools I was given to maintain my recovery and improve my quality of life. I now take things one day at a time.
When I heard Kath and Lin had embarked on a new project at Trova Support, I realised this was the perfect opportunity to give back; not only to them but to those who make a difference in the lives of other suffering addicts. I made the call and asked if there was any voluntary work available.
Once again, I was welcomed with love, acceptance and encouragement. I was finally a productive member of the society that had carried me for all those years.
Kath, Lin and the team have guided and nurtured and helped me to grow into the role. As a result of my effort and theirs I am now undertaking peer mentoring, with a view to working towards a paid role.
I am living proof that with the right support and care people can completely turn their lives around, and it is my mission to help others do the same.