In December 2016, whilst working for a removals firm, John collapsed during a shift in the back of the van. He thinks this was due to the levels of stress in his life at the time – the break up of his marriage and not being able to see his son as well too much drinking and poor sleep.

Before John came to DASH he had been living with his mum but after various fallings out and because he didn’t want to put this much strain on his mum, he knew he should move out. In February 2017 his mum asked him to leave the house. John was left with overwhelming feelings of negativity and he decided at this point to take his own life. After consuming a very large amount of alcohol, he drove his car into a river. Fortunately, John’s cousin found him and brought him back to his house. The police met him and decided not to charge him for drink-driving, given his circumstances.

His cousin contacted Crisis for help with accommodation for John and they put him in touch with DASH. He had an initial interview with John Green, a key worker at DASH, and was given a place at Harry Mears House.

“I was absolutely over the moon to be able to have a place that I could call home.”

John has been living at Harry Mears House since March 2016. His key worker, John Green, helped him sort out his benefits, find a doctor and access counselling services. He was put on medication for severe depression which has really helped him.

John Green has referred him to Waddington Street where he does a computer course. He also works at ‘The Wood Pile’ which produces reconditioned furniture – the people that go there are from all different walks of life and have their own problems. The course and work provide social spaces to meet new people and hear their stories. There was a period where John wasn’t really engaging with the outside world so this has been a good way to gradually become more sociable.

John aims to get back into work and hopes to start with volunteering when has recovered further.

“I’m starting to get my sparkle back – the real me.”

When John first arrived, he had very low confidence and would never have done an interview like this or share his story. His confidence is now coming back and he has high hopes for the future.