I became homeless due to a broken relationship and alcohol issues. Debts built up and rent arrears and it became unmanageable. I couldn’t cope anymore, and I turned to crime. I left my home and started sofa surfing. I felt I was getting under people’s feet, so I put my backpack on and went on to the streets.
I was sleeping in a cave or under a viaduct for 8 weeks and then one day I decided to climb up to the top of a viaduct and end it all. When I got the top, I suddenly thought, I’m better than this and decided to get help.
The council sent me to the gathering place, where I stayed for about 8 weeks, and I was introduced to Dave Fawcett who offered me a room at Happydays. Happydays supported me through a court case and because I was in supported accommodation and the system could see that I was getting my life sorted with Happydays support, I didn’t get a prison sentence.
I was so grateful and from that day I decided to work with the Charity and take on their suggestions in a positive way.
I was introduced to John who became my mentor. John asked me what I wanted to do in life, and he offered me opportunities and saw potential in me. It was then I became involved in the rucksack appeal. I wanted to help other homeless people by supplying a rucksack, sleeping bags and essentials.
I started collecting things from charity shops and eventually they started giving me things free. I was asked to meet with the rotary club, and they asked to partner with me. We have now given 250 rucksacks out and we expect this to continue to rise. The project has been on BBC look North and im proud to be a part of it.
I now live in my own private rental under light touch support from Happydays. I am a Charity volunteer and ambassador for Rucksacks for the homeless. I have just done a interview for a monthly rotary club magazine that goes out to Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and I do all kinds of charity events to fundraise such as sleeping rough for the night.
My life is so different today. I believe that I was meant to go on this journey to meet all of these lovely people and when anyone looks at me now, I’m smiling!