Steven had spent most of his life in prisons and institutions. Then, in 2017, he started recovery and began training with our volunteer programme.
He spent time practising his ‘life share’ in front of staff and peers before eventually talking in front of groups of young people in schools. The response was always brilliant, with children asking lots of questions and generating lots of constructive discussion.
The skills Steven learnt during his training and volunteering helped him get a part time job facilitating groups himself. Now, he volunteers in his home town of Fleetwood as a support assistant for the Amy Winehouse Foundation lived experience team, which sees him supporting peers in the community.
Steven says that it feels great to be able to give something back to the same community where his own struggles took place.
He now also visits prisons to share his story and give hope to those in similar positions that recovery is possible.
Steven has also gone back to college and completed Maths and English qualifications. He recently moved into independent accommodation and also passed his driving test. These, he says, are all gifts of recovery.
When asked about his volunteering experience with the Amy Winehouse Foundation, Steven says it gave him crucial structure during his early recovery. Taking public transport, fulfilling work appointments, making friendships; these all helped give him a sense of equality, dignity and respect.