Six years ago I was addicted to heroin and crack cocaine. I was homeless for 11 months and sleeping rough behind Manchester University, or sometimes in a hostel or on a friend’s sofa. During this time I was stealing to fund my habit and consequently I was in and out of prison. In total I’ve been in prison for over 2 years and have been through several rehab and detox programmes. Eventually, while in jail, I realised I’d had enough, and that I didn’t want to be an addict any longer.

I joined the Freedom Project as I was finding it hard to get into work. I came across Mustard Tree on the internet as a place to get voluntary experience and something to put on my CV. I was going crazy at home doing nothing, so to get out and just do something has been great. Joining the project has kick-started me into looking for work. I’m now getting up at 6.30am and I’m meeting new people. The project has got me doing something positive again and has started to open some doors.

I’m more confident now that I’ll move into work. I know that if I keep putting the effort in I’ll get to do the work that I want to. Not having regular work meant that I was stuck in a rut before and I was giving up on life. Now, I’m itching to get a job! Through the job club I’m getting a Construction Skills Health and Safety (CSCS) certificate, and I’m about to start a construction work placement. Eventually though, I’d love to be a drug and alcohol support worker.

I don’t want the lifestyle that I previously had. I’d prefer to be skint from paying a mortgage, with a small car in my driveway, and for my son to see me working.

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