From engaging with one of The Wallich’s Young People’s Project, to completing an intensive employment programme, Dan is now focusing on his bright future ahead. This is his story.
Where were you before you entered our services?
“I used to live with my mother in Bridgend but then we had an argument and I got chucked out. I was moved into a B&B, then to a secure location in Porthcawl. Then I moved into The Wallich’s Bridgend Young People’s Project. Moving back to Bridgend was a bit daunting but I settled down well and the staff were amazing.
I started smoking weed when I was younger and I smoked for years. I got hooked on legal highs for a year – a very bad drug, really addictive. At my worst point, I had a fit and started selling all my things for money to buy it. I couldn’t get myself out of the situation. I stayed with my Auntie for a week, she locked me in and got me off it – she looked after me when the sweats and side-effects came.
When I went back to Bridgend, it was difficult stay off drugs but I needed to show my Auntie the respect she deserves, she took me in and helped me get off them. I stopped all of that, I did go back to weed for a bit but then stopped it completely”.
Being supported by The Wallich
“At Bridgend Young People’s Project, they support you with trying to get back on track with your life and get a little place of your own, in your own space. Getting my own space means the world.
I’ve had loads of support from The Wallich to stay off drugs. It’s changed my life. There’s loads of other things, like they put me through non-smoking clinics, mental health support, they’ve even helped me with the dentist, when I had a fear of it.
My support worker, Tracey, she was great. She’s like a happy person, very talkative. If we plan something, she encourages me to do it; which I think is better for me than being with a laid-back person.
My support worker encouraged me to do The Wallich’s WISE programme (Working In Sustainable Employment). I always had odd jobs before coming to The Wallich but never settled into anything steady.
WISE is brilliant. We work on our communication skills, body-language skills and getting work ready. It’s a great course, and I’d recommend it to anyone. I haven’t looked back since starting”.
“I’ve moved just across the road from the Bridgend project but I share a privately rented flat – I’ve got my own room and my own space. The Wallich gave me a good reference to help me get the flat.
I don’t think I’d have bothered looking for private rented by myself. It was much easier having The Wallich help me than doing it all by myself. Having that support by the side of you gives you comfort.
With WISE, I’m doing a work placement in the warehouse of an events company – it has been amazing. I’ve really settled down and got to know the team. It really feels like I fit in there – I never thought I’d settle in like that somewhere”.
What are your future plans?
“I’m so proud of myself for coming out of the other side. It’s an amazing feeling. I have a child now, who’s changed my life, and I’m going to start playing rugby again – drugs ruined that for me when I was younger.
I’m looking to go big for the future. Looking to settle down in a new place by myself, so I can have my kid there, and I have a good job now too – full-time with the events company I did my placement at.
The Wallich has been behind me 100%. It’s a long journey but I know now that I’m out the other side, I’m much happier now”.