I was 16 when I was homeless. Despite securing a permanent home, the belief that I was "damaged goods" remained and escalated to numerous failed relationships, cocaine, and alcohol.
This all changed when I was introduced to a book by Sydney Banks called “The Enlightened Gardener”. Within three hours I was sobbing and felt a wave of relief.
Something I read triggered deep inside and I saw for the first time that I wasn’t broken.
From then, my life has changed in ways I never dreamt possible and I started to share my story. When volunteering with “The London and Slough Run” on a bitterly cold night in Waterloo in London 2017, the cutting wind chilled me to the bones despite the layers of clothing I had worn… I watched the man walk away towards his home on the streets and as he turned around, he smiled and said: “keep spreading the good word”.
I saw at that moment that I could help others, by sharing what had transformed my life. The first 18 months were tough, I wanted to share this new transformational approach which I “knew” could empower individuals. But I had to show the outcomes from this approach which included the Modello housing project in Florida and the work of Beyond Recovery in Nottingham, where Jacqueline Hollows had been using this approach successfully in prisons. I struggled to find an organisation who wanted to work with me so I decided to start delivering programmes myself so that I could generate further evidence.