Nick has lived in the Croes Ffin project since July 2016.

Croes Ffin provides residential support to those who are homeless with substance misuse issues.

The aim of Croes Ffin is to give people the support they need to remain abstinent, undertake learning opportunities and find stable employment to allow them to move on into their own homes.

This is Nick’s story.

“I used to live in Ely with my Mum and would drink quite heavily and smoke cannabis. I started hanging around with the wrong crowd and doing that led me to go to prison in 2015.

I got a five-and-a-half-month sentence and after being released I had nowhere to live. I spent some time on my sister’s sofa but didn’t have anywhere to go permanently.

I went to Housing Options and asked about what I did next, where I was going to live and what I was going to do. They offered me floor space for two weeks which I didn’t feel comfortable with, but it was the only option I had.

Referral to The Wallich

I then got referred to Sir Julian Hodge Hostel on Broadway and stayed there for about four months.

My support worker at the hostel was Mike Franks and he recommended that I meet with Croes Ffin because of my abstinence from drugs and alcohol. He’s amazing, I’ve got to give it to the guy – he gave me great advice.

Mike arranged the meeting with Croes Ffin and was really hoping to hear from them as I’ve wanted my own place for a long time as I need to get my own independence and stability. I’m quite happy that I’m moving forward instead of going backwards.

I was over the moon to hear there was a place for me, I was overwhelmed and felt so much happiness. I took a little while to move in but I’ve been at Croes Ffin for five months.

I have a two year old son and I want to increase contact with him and I’m trying my best to get my own place so that we can feel like a little family.

Training and education

I want to do as much training as possible and further my education and I’m being supported by the Smart Skills team to try and achieve this. I’ve completed a Health and Safety course and will look at doing Food Hygiene too.

I want to get in to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) and I’ve had a meeting with Acorn Recruitment who told me I’m job ready.

I’ve never really done construction but thought I would give it a go. I used to work in a production company and it was a long 12 hour day but I enjoyed it as I was out working and busy, busy, busy all the time instead of being stuck in.

The fact that I am being supported to do this is amazing because I really want to work, try my best and I really want to support my son. If I get a job I can look at the private rented sector.

My little boy is my major motivation.

When I got out of prison, I realised I was a changed person and I’ve shocked myself with how much I’ve changed. I don’t touch alcohol at all and I used to not be able to go a day without it.

Alcohol caused me to go prison and I would act like an idiot when I drank and recognised it in myself. I knew I had to nip it in the bud straightaway and stop what I was doing.

I need to concentrate on my son because I’m a father at the end of the day.

I’ve told my story because I want to inspire people and make them feel like they can change and achieve whatever they want to”.