Mike came to volunteer for Julian House in November 2010 following a long period of sustained abstinence from a previously chaotic lifestyle involving addiction. Mike continues to work incredibly hard in his recovery and his employment at Julian House plays a part in that. Mike says: “Working for Julian House gives me a different challenge every day; I had not enjoyed anything before and now, seeing people’s faces when they have been through our services and are moving on gives me real pleasure”.
Mike now works as a Support Worker in our Supported Housing Team supporting people who have had similar backgrounds; he encourages clients to change their behaviour whilst improving their life choices. Mike says “I think clients respect that I have ‘been there and done that’ – it enhances the trust in the relationship to know I know where they are coming from”.
Mike is very supportive of the approach Julian House take to employing people who may have had a background of using services, he says “it doesn’t mean that you are unemployable just because you are an ex addict – Julian House look past the stereotype”.
Terry* is 34 years old. He accessed the Peter House offender project direct from prison having been involved in the criminal justice system as a repeat offender since he was 17 years old. He became involved in problematic drug use, committing car crime and burglaries to fund his lifestyle. A total of eight prison sentences contributed to disengagement from formal employment opportunities, further reinforcing his criminal behaviour. Following an initial period of 9 months of support during which he addressed drug misuse, thinking skills and offending behaviour issues he engaged with an ‘employability skills’ course within the Space2 Meaningful Occupation activity programme. He further identified a specialised local college based Tree Surgery training for which funding was applied for and gained. He successfully completed the accredited training over a 9 month period and, with support, obtained an employment trial period and has now been in full time employment for 3 months with an Arboreal Company in Bath. He reports that ‘being able to get support and gain a qualification in work I really wanted to do’ has enabled him to address his underlying confidence and sensitivity issues, that had previously led to drug use and past offending. He has remained abstinent from drug use and has not reoffended.
Laura* is 42 years old. She has three grown up children and has been living in various nightshelter hostels for the past 8 years. She became homeless following her decision to leave her partner who was physically and mentally abusive towards her. Laura had been in this violent relationship since she was 20 and had previously felt unable to leave. Laura has long term alcohol issues and has needed support to get back on her feet and has now found the motivation to get involved with the organisation and to fill her time meaningfully. She has been volunteering as a mentor to other service users on our meaningful activity programme. Laura has discovered latent abilities in IT and this has led to her joining a college based accredited learning programme. The development of these skills and a responsible mentor role has contributed to her increasing her sense of self esteem. Laura is now engaging with the organisation’s community based Freedom Programme sessions for women addressing domestic violence and abuse recovery issues.
Simon* is 28 years old. He has been at our Supported Living Project, Henrietta Street, for 10 months. He accessed the service following a breakdown in relationship with his parents with whom he had been living. Simon experiences severe depression, struggles to make positive relationships, has challenging behaviour issues and needs to live in a supported environment. His family live in the local area and through supported contact he has re- established relationship and sees them as regularly as possible. Simon has been assisted in attending our Social Enterprise, The Bath Bike Workshop, and swims and uses the gym as part of a planned meaningful activity programme. This has contributed to increased fitness, improved health and well being, self confidence and social engagement within the wider community
*Please note – names have been changed to protect anonymity.