Lead Manager for 'BoB world' in East Sussex Sussex (Eastbourne)

I had an amazing job in sales-I travelled the world, owned a speedboat, and drove a fancy car. But in 2014, the tragic death of my partner led to an escalation of a barely controlled cocaine addiction.  From there, an addiction to sleeping tablets served as a gateway to smoking heroin. I subsequently lost my job, stopped paying my rent, sold all my possessions to feed my addiction, ended up being evicted from my flat and living on the streets.
My life was becoming unmanageable. I was using substances on a daily basis, wasn’t washing, or eating properly and lost so much weight. I just didn’t care about myself anymore; the drugs just consumed me.

I was sofa surfing if I was lucky… sleeping in the back of a shop doorway and even under a shed, all while I fed my addiction. I ended up getting a large eight-seater car – for £250 from a friend tore the seats out and converted it into a living space. I’d park on quiet streets, but residents would ask me to move on.  If I parked too near town, drunk people and groups of youths would bang on the windows, throw stones, and harass me. Some people would be nice and offer to help, but much of my interaction with the public back then left me feeling ever more marginalised.

With no community to turn to I relied on what I knew – drugs. I felt I couldn’t live that life and not be on drugs. Even if you’re not to start with, you end up on them to cope. At my lowest point I estimated I was spending £300 a day on drugs: more than £100,000 a year.  An almost incomprehensible amount and ultimately this lifestyle and everything that came with it became too much, and I realised I had to make a change. 

A lifeline came through an organisation called Guild Care, that had donated sleeping bags and quilt covers to me in the past. Guild Care volunteers pointed me towards a meeting at St Matthew’s Church Hall in Tarring Road, with staff from Turning Tides – a service I did not even know existed. They told me that I didn’t need to live like this which was something I hadn’t heard for years. This was the start of my recovery journey and that Christmas I stayed with family for three days, while I tried to loosen the stranglehold of my addiction. Those three days took me back to normality-a warm bed, a hot shower, good food – I didn’t ever want to go back to how I was living.  

After Christmas I went to Turning Tides’ St Clare’s Community Hub in Marine Place, Worthing, where they were offered immediate and life-changing help.  And after two years of rough sleeping, I found myself in a sheltered, safe space with hot meals and specialist staff to ease my transition. I was placed on methadone programme via Change Grow Live, who were absolutely amazing.  There I received psychological and practical support in overcoming my addiction and preparing for a new life of sobriety. 

After a long period of recovery, I decided that I didn’t want to go back into sales with the high pressure of justifying my existence on a daily basis, the work hard, play hard atmosphere, none of which was going to be conducive to my new life of sobriety. So, I enrolled on a counselling course online, passed it and then decide to do a Diploma. By then I think I had already made my mind what my new career path would be-I wanted to help others who had been through the same struggle with addiction.

I started volunteering for Build on Belief at the weekends and doing this I heard that an opening for a service manager in East Sussex was available. I nervously sent my CV in and to my amazement got an interview and was then offered the position.
I couldn’t be happier and if I can help just one person with their addiction struggles, everything I have been through will be worth it.

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]  
Mobile: 07709 846979