Mark’s story

19 Feb 2024

Mark has been supported by a few different The Wallich services in the Cardiff area

Facing challenges with alcohol and housing, Mark has been working with our expert support workers to move forward with his life.

Read his story

Life before The Wallich

“I was living in Blackwood with my mum.

My brother and sister moved out. It was just me and mum at home.

When I was 34, I was struggling as I was drinking a lot and becoming dependent on alcohol and arguing with my mum all the time.

I also suffer with anxiety and depression, and I’m dyslexic.

I felt that I could not cope with all the arguments and decided to go to Cardiff for a fresh start.

I was homeless and living rough on the streets. This lasted about two months.”

Getting the right support

“After about two months, I was found by The Wallich outreach team. They gave me coffee and sandwiches and directed me to The Wallich Solutions.

At Solutions, they eventually found me a place to live at The Wallich Shoreline Project as I still had an alcohol problem.

Whilst I was at Shoreline, they encouraged me to see my GP, and he referred me to the Cardiff Addictions Unit.

They gave me counselling, and I eventually was put on a waiting list to go into hospital to detox from alcohol.

I also started training with the Invisible Cities project.

After a while I didn’t feel right at Shoreline, so I asked to be moved. I was then transferred to Sir Julian Hodge Hostel in Cardiff.

When I arrived at Sir Julian Hodge, I was made to feel very welcome and supported from the start.

There was always staff around to talk with if my anxiety was bad. I was also helped to sort out my benefits as my dyslexia made this difficult for me.

I then went into hospital for two weeks for treatment for my alcohol problem.

After two weeks, I returned to Sir Julian Hodge. There I was supported to keep off the alcohol while they looked for a suitable place for me to live.

I had to appear in court for an offence I committed when I was still drinking. Anything that I have done wrong, involving the police, has been when drinking.

Being free of alcohol really is a fresh start for me. I was nervous about going to court on my own so staff came with me.”

Where are you now in life?

“Now that I am free of alcohol, I am looking forward to finding somewhere more permanent to live.


I have finished my Invisible Cities training and am now a tour guide.

I still go to Solutions and am currently involved in The Story Project.”

What are your future plans?

“I would like to have a place of my own where my girlfriend could stay and eventually find a job.”

Mark has since moved into another The Wallich residence, which is smaller and closer to independent living.

Service manager at Julian Hodge, Gareth John, who has been supporting Mark, said:

“Mark moved in with us in June 2023 and has made great strides forward in his progress. It has not been all plain sailing, but Mark has overcome all the obstacles in his way.

He has now progressed to secondary accommodation with less support on hand.

During his time with us, Mark always engaged well with staff and was polite and approachable.

Mark would often offer a hand, helping staff with any tasks and supporting other residents if needed.

It was a pleasure to observe Mark’s journey in his short period with us, and as a staffing team we wish him all the best for the future.”

If you’ve been affected by any of the topics mentioned in this case study, help and support is available. Visit our Help & Advice page to find out more.

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