Finding hope for 2024 | Aaron’s story

Aaron cannot remember a time when he wasn’t in mental pain.  

“I was self-harming at four or five years old, trying to cope with a pain I couldn’t understand. At junior school, teachers would find me in cupboards, self-harming. At 11 or 12, I took my first ecstasy pill. The high was incredible. I was hooked.”  

Drugs became Aaron’s priority – nothing else mattered. He was in trouble with the police throughout his teens, and his twenties were chaotic.  

“Weekly arrests and court appearances, drug dealing, gangs; I’ve seen people die, I’ve been stabbed myself. It was madness. I knew I needed to change, but I didn’t know how.”  

Aaron realised that removing drink and drugs from his life would not be enough – he had attempted detoxes before but had never been successful. He needed to put himself in new surroundings, without the temptations posed by his old associates and way of life.  

That’s when he found Julian House. We offered Aaron a room in one of our ‘dry houses’ in Salisbury, where his journey to recovery began.  

“Moving in was tough – adjusting to the rules, the structure. But pretty soon it became my lifeline.”  

Now, Aaron is determined to get his own flat and begin living independently, and he has job offers though his volunteering work which will help him to build a new life.  

“Julian House has shown me that what seemed like a dream could become my reality – as long as I can keep on this path.”  

Your donation this Christmas could give Aaron hope for a better 2024. Please give what you can to support our life-changing and life-saving work across the South West.  


You can watch Aaron’s interview here: