Craig* first came to our support centre, the Beacon, looking for help with his most basic needs: food, a shower, and new clothes. Over time, he came to trust our team and began to consider the Beacon as the closest thing to a home, having lived in a tent for several years without any support.

When Craig confided in our support team that he had problems with his prison probation and was worried that he’d be recalled, we knew we could offer him the support he needed.

This is Craig’s journey

A birthday to remember

It was through Craig’s problems with probation that our Beacon team were able to build further trust. We helped him make several important phone calls which helped set his mind at ease, before turning our focus to his housing situation.

Whilst on probation, Craig had been successfully referred to a supported accommodation project. However, the paperwork had not been finished before a worker at another service left on annual leave. Craig’s birthday was fast approaching, and we were keen to get him moved in, so our support team contacted the project to help fill in the blanks. We were very fortunate and were able to bless Craig with the gift of moving in to a new home on his birthday.

After a couple of weeks of living in his new accommodation, Craig got in touch to let us know how he was settling in. It initially seemed like he was just giving us a courtesy call – that is, until we contacted him again shortly after…

Finding a better fit

A month and a half passed since Craig first moved into the supported accommodation project. We were looking for people who would be ready to take up a tenancy as part of our resettlement programme, and Craig came to mind. 

We weren’t sure if he would want to move again after so short a time, but we approached him anyway to get his thoughts on the idea. He said he wasn’t really getting much support at the project and would like to work with us more closely, so we arranged a property viewing. Craig immediately expressed his interest – he said that he wasn’t actually doing very well in project, but hadn’t wanted to admit it. 

His family also live in an area near the new tenancy, so it was clear that it would be better for his relationship with them too.

Starting the next chapter

Craig took up the tenancy in August 2020, and we have been working closely with him ever since. He has engaged with Change Grow Live (the drug and alcohol service for Manchester City Council), as well as his GP and other important support and mental health services. He continues to do well and remains in touch, allowing us to understand how he’s doing and how we can best support him going forward. 

What’s more, Craig has finished his probation. We have recently moved him to a new tenancy as a result, where he will receive less support from us. However, we are very confident that he will succeed at this, just as he has with every step along his journey to a new life.

Trust is one of our most powerful forms of support

Craig is a great example of why we are always happy to support our friends with whatever trouble they are facing. It builds vital trust between us, allowing us to talk to our friends and advise them to take those scary steps away from what they know and into a new life. That next step may bring with it new stresses and challenges, but with that trust, they know that we will be there to pick them up when they fall down.

We look forward to supporting Craig well into the future as he continues to build a new life for himself.


*Name has been changed to protect our friend’s identity