Alex's Success Story

To respect this person's privacy, we have been asked not to use his real name or personal photograph.

I’ve been battling addiction and mental illness since I was a boy and despite having a profession and being employable at the age of 27 I found myself living in a tent feeling vulnerable and alone, gradually losing hope of any future prospects.

I’d been flitting from one location to another, struggling to find secure accommodation and employment. Life had become disordered, depressing and chaotic. When I first visited the Soup Kitchen in early 2018 I was pleasantly surprised that there were so many people ready to help in any way possible. The Soup Kitchen volunteers are impartial local volunteers with no fixed agenda; just a straightforward community of people who recognise and relate that not all of us have the best start in life and therefore donate a hands-on approach to aiding the homeless, vulnerable and lonely.

We would queue up outside until the doors open and then dive in to be given a very personalised service. I was given all the necessary equipment to stay warm and clean in a tent and furthermore offered varying degrees of advice concerning personal issues, housing, and employment opportunities. I have since been housed, have a job and a support network that I can contact whenever needed. I have even been donated and organised by Meryl a bicycle to get to and from work.

I have built a friendly and strong relationship with many of the smiley volunteers and users of the Thursday Soup Kitchen and gratuitous thanks go to Meryl for creating a beautiful space in which you can have a game of chess, get warm, drink hot drinks, get clothes, sleeping bags, tents, thermos flasks and so on! There is all the local knowledge you need share to get the right support irrelevant of your circumstances.

Big ups! Shout out to the cooks Jan and her team in the kitchen, plus Cathy, Sally and Emma just to name a few!

Beggars, dole claimants, addicts, users, blaggers, dossers. Buzzwords that don't fit the bill. Addiction in any form presents symptoms of disease. Anyone must be pretty mental to inflict a disease on yourself.