I came to YMCA Cheltenham in June 2017. When I arrived I was on probation and a suspended sentence and on a compulsory order to engage with the drugs and alcohol services. My life was pretty messed up, I had lost everything including my dog and I won’t lie to you the idea of coming to the YMCA was really scary.
For the first few weeks I hardly spoke to anyone and I made some stupid choices but my keyworker was really understanding and challenged me to get my act together. I battled for a while between what I was familiar with and turning my life around. With time and effort from myself and support from the staff, and some false starts, I eventually found work as a pastry chef. I am now a team leader in a high quality hotel restaurant and free from class A drugs. I am just about to move into my own flat and know that my keyworker will continue to keep an eye on me and help me to settle in.I can honestly say that without the help of the YMCA I don’t know where I would be now, probably not alive.
*Name changed to protect identity