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CASE STUDY – Neil
Neil is a 45 year old who works to help those who are battling addiction, but he has had his own journey to get to where he now is…..
In 1990, Neil and a very close friend were joy-riding in a stolen car which we involved in a road traffic accident. His friend was killed and he was badly injured. Neil; “went badly off the rails”, turning to various substances as a way of coping; “it led me to some very dark and dangerous places mentally”.
This inevitably ended badly and Neil spent many years in Prison. During this period his family distanced themselves from him, as did his former friends. Understandable perhaps after his behaviour, but something which can have a devastating effect on the individual, it did for Neil, increasing his negative spiral. .
At release, Neil was approached by Lawson, a former Police Officer, who now dedicates himself to supporting offenders at their point of release from custody. Neil says; “Sadly, at the time I was still rebelling against anyone and everything, I didn’t want help and so I went my own way and did what I wanted”. However, Lawson stuck by Neil and didn’t give up.
In early 2015, Neil was homeless and came to HOPE. Our Support Team work closely with Lawson and together realised Neil was at the point and ready to turn his life around. He had over 25 years of drug addiction and was tired, most of all, he wanted to re-engage with his family.
Lawson introduced Neil to the “Teen Challenge UK Leadership Academy”, a Christian initiative which provides training for those seeking to change. It was this mechanism which allowed Neil to conquer his demons and to see a really bright future ahead. Working with the “Lighthouse” and “The Carpenters Arms”, during his rehabilitation process, he had the steps and support to progress.
By 2016, Neil had beaten his drug addiction, made new friends and started to rebuild the relationship with his family. Neil suggest that “If it hadn’t been for HOPE, Lawson and everyone else who has guided and supported me, I would have ended up back in prison, or worse.”
Neil is now employed as a Residential Rehabilitation Worker with a local charity, where he supports others who are battling addiction. “Having been in that position myself, it is great to be able to point people in the right direction, and help them find an alternative”. He explained how lovely it is to have a future to look forward to. I have a family again, I was already a dad, but now I’m a proper Father and Granddad, which is amazing”.