Good News Story C

Outcomes: Training, housing, substance misuse and increased confidence and skills.

Upon joining Opportunity and Change, Robert had just been discharged from hospital having been diagnosed with various health difficulties and completing an alcohol detox. Robert shared with Nicola, Navigator at Acorn Training, that he had been a chef working abroad with his family running a restaurant. He disclosed that his alcohol dependency became too much, resulting in separation from his partner, losing the business and unable to have access to his son. When his health took a turn for the worse, Robert returned to England and registered with The Lighthouse Project for support with housing and to complete a detox.

Robert’s initial goals were to learn how to use computers and retrain to teach others how to cook. With the support of his navigator, Robert explored different training courses he could enrol to, to take steps towards his goal. Unfortunately, not too long after joining the project Robert was instructed to shield from Covid-19 due to his health vulnerabilities. He received ongoing emotional support and IAG from Nicola to prevent him from social isolation and having a deterioration in mental health.

During this period, Robert was able to establish grounds to Skype his son weekly and create a make-shift gym to continue his exercise. Recognising the need for nutritional meals at his accommodation, once Robert’s shielding period came to an end, he collected donations from other residents and would cook a delicious main meal and pudding for them all to enjoy. He now cooks twice a week for the Lighthouse Project and was asked by the Project Leader if he would consider taking an internship because of his skills in liaising and communicating with the other residents.

Following further discussion with his navigator about his future, Robert decided to work towards an NVQ in Caring and Drug Dispensary. Nicola successfully applied for funding from the Vicars Relief Fund which allowed her to purchase a laptop and internet access for Robert to complete his studies, access Acorn’s online support groups and Skype his son. He now has access to his son three times a week and sees a future in their relationship.

Robert states that if it weren’t for the period he required to shield, he would’ve relapsed. He now has a whole new outlook on the future and is grateful for his second chance.