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Phil’s Story

PhilPhil, 45 years old.  Previously a St Vincent’s resident, he is now full time Gardening Team Leader at Aspire.

“Before St Vincent’s I was languishing in a cycle of drink, drugs, crime, prison and my life was pretty much going nowhere.”

“I came to St Vincent’s because I was serving a prison sentence and I had to do something different with my life.”

“A few of the people I was associated with in prison had come to St Vincent’s and championed the cause and so in pursuit of the new life I craved I guess it was a logical choice.”

“I’d worked large parts of my life but a lot of those jobs had fell by the wayside because of my substance misuse and then the 5 years before my latest prison sentence, the one before I came to St Vincent’s, it was a case of I didn’t really want to work and I was happy in my oblivion.  I didn’t think that I was worthy of anything more than I had become so I didn’t even try to get work.”

“Realistically if I hadn’t got a place in any 2nd stage dry house, maybe I’d still be taking drugs, committing crime, going to prison, possibly dead, that’s as black and white as it was quite honestly.”

“Aspire, because they come under the umbrella of a social enterprise they are much more understanding of the issues associated with coming out the other side of substance misuse, for instance I’ve had quite a few hospital appointments and illnesses of late and they haven’t been anything other than supportive.  I think it’s amazingly encouraging for me.”

“What I’m learning more than anything at Aspire first and foremost is working with other people and leading other people. Some of the people there don’t have as much on hand experience as I have, so it’s kind of nice to teach and help other people.”

“My immediate goals are to find my own place and then work full time for Aspire, because I like the job, I like the people and the ethos of the company.”

“To anyone thinking about St Vincent’s, it has helped my immeasurably in turning what was a pretty bleak outlook for my life into something which today I have genuine aspirations and hope for the future.”

“Aspire do great things for people that wouldn’t otherwise necessarily have got a chance. I would absolutely champion the cause of both.”