Shaun - a resident at Big House

One thing about being here, they praise you, tell you how well you are doing. Say you are on the right track. It gives you a lift. Makes you feel good. I am not very good at hearing it, it makes me embarrassed.
Before coming here I was in residential detoxes and hostels. But I kept going back to drink.

I wanted somewhere that wasn’t a hostel, I wanted my own place. I just wanted independent living, a safe calm environment.

I was homeless and all that, and being at the Big House is helping me to get back on track. I am happy here. I don’t mind the area.

When I got here get me into voluntary work. When I was a kid I wanted to be a vet. They found out about what I was interested in and got me volunteering at Spitalfields City Farm one day a week. I am now doing a QCF level 2 in animal care.

I feel good doing voluntary work. Know that I’ve done something, being treated like an adult.

Downstairs the help is there. They are very understanding.

They know about me and my drink problem. I had a lapse over Christmas, and it really set me back. I felt like I had lost everything again.

I signed myself back on a recovery programme. The dogs’ home and the farm where I was working kept their place open for me. The staff here were really helpful for me. They could have laid the law down, but instead they told me not to beat myself up about it. That made me feel much better about myself. They told me that Christmas was a difficult time for a lot of people, not a lot of people about: “It happens”.

They don’t hold anything against you. You can talk to them about anything. They don’t judge you, which is a good thing. I’ve got my freedom back. If I need help I know I can go downstairs say what’s wrong. I don’t have to do it by myself.

They are not looking me over every time I come in and that makes me feel better. It’s not patronising. They just treat you like a human being. I don’t feel as if they want you out of the office.

Everything I have lost has been through drinking. It’s self sabotage. I have been so used to things blowing up around me. I used to believe that everything I do turns to dust. Now I’ve got a bit of confidence in myself.

Find out more about Big House.

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