This is My Journey

By March 9, 2016Stories

I started to smoke cannabis at 11 years old which straight away I did almost every day and didn’t really care how I got the money to smoke my cannabis. By the age of 15 I had tried most drugs, acid, ecstacy, magic mushrooms, cocaine and alcohol and almost every weekend I was taking any concoction of these including cannabis. I tried heroin for the first time aged 18, when I got home from clubbing one weekend and straight away loved it. By the age of 21 I was mixing heroin and crack together and injecting them both and also selling them both to fund my massive habit. My life over the next 12 years went completely out of control, going in and out of prison and always doing the same overtime I was released, back using drugs. At the beginning of 2013 I was arrested for supplying class ‘A’s and sent to prison.

Tony Holmes - SSA Custody to Community Programme Manager

Tony Holmes – SSA Custody to Community Programme Manager

When I landed I had nothing, no family at all, no kids and my wife had left me. I had totally had enough of life. I was then introduced to my recovery worker who explained what recovery was. I started a methadone reduction programmed worked with the recovery team. Four weeks before I finished my methadone I¬†was introduced to Tony Holmes (LEGEND) and was accepted onto the Street Soccer Academy course. It was a 12-week course that helped me stay focused whilst doing my detox and I also developed as a person, both through the field sessions and in the classroom. My health massively improved and on finishing the course I received a certificate, something I wasn’t used to in my life. The day before I was released from prison Tony came to see me with his telephone number and said he would be in touch. The day after I was released and went to rehab. After 8 weeks I was told Tony was trying to get in touch and I phoned him straight away. He was asking how I was and how my family was doing. He invited me down to the Manchester centre on Friday to have a game and meet some of the lads. Since then, for the past 12 months, Tony has phoned me at least once a month asking where I am up to in my personal life and if I need any support at all. I’m now working in a prison as a peer mentor volunteering service in Bury and spending time with all my family and kids. Street Soccer Academy have been constantly supportive of everything I have done since leaving prison and I just want to say a big massive ‘thank you’ and a special ‘thank you’ to the special one, Tony Holmes. You are a true living legend.

p.s. please make sure my comments are not edited. thankyou.

Author Eric Severus

The voice of all SSA Service users sharing their attitudes, thinking and behaviour.

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