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Zed’s story

My name is Zed and my experience with DASH started as a very surreal one when I left prison back in 2019. At the time I was working with the prison as part of a new scheme called Project Beta. I knew that my biggest challenge would be integrating back into society, and I remember the beginning of that transition being such an overwhelming experience for me. I was also in crutches at the time and had never felt so vulnerable, and so it really was a blessing being introduced to DASH for housing and support. When I was first referred through the prison scheme, I knew nothing of DASH but that all changed when they offered me not just somewhere to call home but a foundation to continue with life. 

I was lucky enough to have settled into my flat just before the pandemic hit. The flat was wonderfully clean, residents weren’t on top of each other, it was everything I needed it to be, and it really gave me the space and time to focus on reforming myself. I had the most tremendous mentor, Rachel, who I can’t praise enough. She always went above and beyond to support me and push me to do more. So, for me I spent the best part of lockdown doing courses in topics such as peer mentoring and it was because of Rachel and the opportunity DASH had given me that I was able to do that. Rachel always had such a motivation for maintaining the progress I’d made. She’d always have me involved with the workshops and events DASH would host and it truly was an experience that will stay with me forever.

Unfortunately, during my time at the flat, there was one instance by which my mental health got the better of me and I made the mistake in showing my emotions by barging a door. After the incident had happened, I was really nervous about the fact I’d let everyone down… I can’t thank DASH and Rachel enough when I say they stood by me through it all. They understood me and what I was going through, and they gave me the helping hand I didn’t know I needed. There was no damage to the friendships and progress I’d made with DASH because they really meant it when they said they were on my side to support me through the hard times just as much as they were the good.

If I could send a message out to anyone that isn’t familiar with DASH or is new to receiving their services- I’d want to just share that DASH aren’t an intimidating, authoritative figure. They aren’t there to judge and bend you to fit their narrative. They’re there to help pick you up and give you the space and tools to find your way back to being the best version of you. You must have the right attitude to accept the support offered.

I’m now currently living in one of DASH’s long term affordable homes. It’s a semi-detached beautiful house that I’ve been spending my free time decorating and making my home. I love it here and I now have my independence to continue with life in the way I’d always hoped for.

If you are facing housing issues and wish to apply for our supported accommodation, please click the button below and complete the online application form in full

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