Tim’s Story - Overcoming The Past And Turning His Life Around At 45

Posted in Saltbox News on

Tim, originally from Burton on Trent, has been a Restart client for the past three years.  Before becoming a client, Tim spent two years in prison, followed by a further six months in a semi-secure bail house. He remembers how grateful he was when his support manager referred him to the Restart service.

Although living in Restart accommodation meant Tim had access to support, he was still fighting a difficult battle against alcohol addiction. He talks about how living in shared accommodation meant he was often around people who were not as motivated as he was to improve their lives.  ‘My addiction was the hardest thing to overcome, I would have three or four weeks alcohol free, then someone would come in who was having a bender. It was difficult to stay sober around that kind of company. ‘

Craig Palmer, Support Worker at Restart, tells us about the testing times Tim was facing. ‘When Tim’s dad passed away seven months ago, he was at his lowest point. He’s been to some real dark places, but the only way was up and he battled through it all.’  

[Tim with Support worker Craig, by Tim's home in Kidsgrove]

This year Tim decided that it was time for a big change.  He remembers telling himself ‘I want help, I want change, let’s do it. I’m 45, it’s about time.’

‘Restart kept me out of trouble, but my OCD tendencies made it tough to live with people who didn’t care much for keeping things in order. I wanted a place of my own that I could keep neat and tidy.’

[Tim's tidy home]

Describing Tim’s journey, Craig tells us: ‘Tim is a completely different person to when I met him 8 months ago. He had a problem with authority and people telling him what’s good for him, but he knew deep down what he needed to do, so we kept working.  It’s not easy but you have to grit your teeth and get on with it. Tim kept working hard toward his goal and now he’s bubbly, happier and has a strong mind.’ 

Tim talks about how being a Restart client also gave him a brilliant opportunity to meet other people to volunteer and chat with. ‘I used to keep to myself and didn’t get up to much. Some days were so bad; I’d just curl into a ball and go to sleep. My life’s changed for the better thanks to Restart and I’ve got more confidence in myself.’     

Tim has taken on an independent tenancy and is now living on his own in Kidsgrove. He still volunteers at the Restart offices on a regular basis, and travels the 6 mile distance on a push-bike. Having visited Tim at his property, I can confirm that the uphill cycle ride is no small feat! 

As part of Saltbox’s commitment to supporting vulnerable people in the City, the Restart service was created to address the needs of ex-offenders. It provides a safe place to deal with life's challenges, whilst positively looking towards the future. The service offers supported accommodation and guidance from a social worker to help individuals achieve and maintain independent living. For more information on the service and how referrals work, contact the Restart team on 01782 815879 or restart@saltbox.org.uk

Dear Saltbox. Thank you for all you do in the city. Thank you for your faithfulness to your call. We pray God will keep increasing your influence in society.