Phil first came to Barnabus for support in January of last year when he was living on the streets and actively taking drugs. Phil was addicted to heroin and crack cocaine and was socialising with a bad crowd. Phil knew there was a better life out there for him and one day he decided enough was enough and he began engaging with our support to help him turn his life around. He made the difficult and isolating move of distancing himself from the only social circle he had, to help him battle the drug addictions he has.

Through Care Grow Live (an addiction recovery charity) Phil got support for his addictions. He made the tough choice to not take a prescription of Methadone which would have lessened the withdrawals. Phil reckoned that taking another opioid would not help him beat his addiction and instead went through the initial withdrawal without it and then went on to a Subitex script which he is still on and doing really well. Before beginning to take Subitex you have to stop taking all drugs for at least 3 days to remove them from your system before you can begin a script. However, once you are taking Subitex it removes most symptoms of opioid drug withdrawl. For Phil to choose to go through the extremely difficult initial withdrawls without medical support shows his desire to turn his life around. It is brilliant to see him overcoming his addictions with such determination.

Phil found his own property to move in to, however he found himself struggling due to the lack of support he had while moving in. Phil reappeared at the Beacon in September feeling isolated, lonely and needing support with his benefits. Our support team was able to support him with his benefits and persuaded him to seek further support from us with housing.

Phil then sat down for a meeting with our resettlement team. This meeting went really well and our resettlement team felt that although he had found the property himself he was in need of their support so they accepted him onto the resettlement scheme. His flat lacked a lot of the necessities at first but we were quickly able to sort him out with a washing machine, fridge, freezer, hover, microwave and some pictures to make his flat feel more like a home.
Our resettlement team visit Phil regularly as he is still in addiction recovery however he is thriving and often volunteers to help the resettlement team with odd jobs, like clearing gardens or flats before someone moves into them.

Phil is excited about the prospect of decorating his flat, he would like to paint it himself and make it a project for himself. We have the landlord’s permission to redecorate and will be helping him to do this by providing the equipment and paint.

Phil is still suffering with loneliness but he is trying to combat this by not only volunteering with our resettlement team but also regularly volunteering at the Beacon and helping people in a position he was in just one year ago. Not only is he an inspiring example to them but the routine, social contact and confidence it provides him will all help him continue on his brilliant road to recovery. He recently confided in our resettlement team how proud he was to have spent his first Christmas in a very long time drug free and off the streets and we couldn’t be prouder of him.

It can take many months or years for someone to turn their life around and move onto a brighter future. We want to be with them every step of the way and it’s thanks to our brilliant supporters that we are even able to do this. Please consider setting up a regular donation to help support our work throughout the winter and the coming year to help people move off the streets for good.