Simon had a good up bringing by his parents, until about the age of 12. He then started to get involved with gangs and crime, which eventually led to him taking drugs. It started with the odd
smoke of weed, then as time went on it turned into a lot harder drugs, such as cocaine. Then, once cocaine didn’t give him the buzz that he was after, it turned into heroin, to which he was addicted for seven years. Simon did almost anything to earn money to fund his drug habit. His parents frequently had different people knocking on their door, looking for Simon, saying he owed them money. This began to cause arguments with Simon’s family which led up to them breaking up. As a result of this, Simon was in and out of different hostels, doing anything to get money to buy drugs. About 8-9 years ago he had an opportunity to move to a P3 hostel called Dickens Lodge (which Simon was very reluctant to do). His drug worker ‘insisted’ Simon move into Dickens Lodge and give it a try and after a lot of thought, he did. Simon received a lot of support from the support workers at P3 and eventually was able to kick his £130 a day drug habit and get ‘clean’. The next stage in his rehabilitation was to get Simon resettled into the community. After a lot of patience, he got his own property and was resettled by P3 back into the community, to live a so-called normal life.
After a year or so, he decided it was time to go back to work. In 2007, staff at Dickens Lodge pointed out to Simon that there was a maintenance job available with P3 and he applied. He got the job in competition with four other applicants, none of whom were service users. He now works full time in maintenance, one of a team of ten, which he enjoys greatly. He feels his life has turned around, thanks to the opportunity P3 offered him. Simon and his girlfriend have recently bought a house together. At first he felt immense pressure in the job as he found it hard to “cross the line between being a service user and staff” – he felt unsure whether he was being seen by some staff as still a service user. However, he has worked through this and it is no longer an issue – looking back, it was more something inside him than in other people.