During 22 years of drug and alcohol addiction Keith spent his life trapped between sleeping rough on the streets and prison. Hit by a family breakdown and the death of his daughter, his road to recovery was tough. But with the help of local homeless and addiction recovery charities, today Keith is four years clean and in full time employment and working as a relief worker at Julian House in his spare time. He now uses his own experiences daily to help those around him.
But that’s not all. At the end of August, he’s doing a 15000ft skydive to help raise much needed funds for Julian House and to raise awareness about the complexity of homelessness.
Since the age of 15, Keith was in and out of prison. Growing up on a one of the toughest council estates in Bristol, he saw his descent into crime, alcohol and drugs as inevitable. People close to him became a victim of his addition. At points, his family were forced to call the police and even take out a restraining order. For years he was completely absorbed by a life of crime and drugs.
But with the help and support of local charities like Julian House, he was able to detox and recover. “I’ve now been clean for over four years, since the 20th December 2014,” Keith says proudly. It’s a date that never leaves you.
Of his challenge, Keith said: “You may wonder why I’m doing a 15000ft skydive for the homeless? Before Julian House gave me the opportunity to work alongside some of Bath’s most vulnerable clients, I was one of those socially excluded people, trapped in a cycle of addiction, homelessness, and institutions. I didn’t see another way out other than death. Luckily, I was gifted with recovery and this is my way of giving back to society. There are many reasons why people become homeless and I have worked with some inspirational people who just needed that break in life. Through organisations like Julian House, these men and women get the opportunity to change their life around. Please help me help them. Pennies or pounds, it does not matter as it all adds up.”
Keith is hoping to raise over £200 and is currently at £145. Please support him and donate to the challenge by visiting his fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/keith-hathway4