We recently sat down with an anonymous resident to discuss how they came to The Ashley Foundation and their experiences with ourselves.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I am a male resident of Elm House, aged 39. Originally, I am from the West Midlands. I have lived in Blackpool for 20 years, moving here with my wife. Prior to becoming a resident at Elm House, I worked as a brick layer and barman for 7 to 8 years, paying my rent for my own privately rented accommodation.
However, I have always struggled with drugs, which is something I hid from my wife for years. I ended up getting arrested for a crime committed to fund my drug habit. My partner found out, causing us to split up. Fortunately, we did sort things out and got back together, however I found out my wife had cancer upon release from prison. She battled through the cancer and was in remission. However, I went to jail again for further drug related crimes and, whilst I was in prison, my wife’s cancer returned. Unfortunately, she then passed away, which also resulted in my losing my house before release from prison. I ended up getting released but I was homeless. In 2014, I moved into Oak House, one of The Ashley Foundation’s hostels, for about 3 months. However, I was struggling a lot with the death of my wife, leading to me using drugs again, which once again resulted in me being arrested. Fast forward to 2019, I was released from prison and returned to The Ashley Foundation, this time moving into Elm House. I have now been out of jail for 5 months and, whilst I have had a wobble and used drugs for a couple of days, I am in a good place now. When I started using drugs again it affected me badly, so I contacted Horizon and was also prescribed medication to help me. I currently feel well and I’m no longer using drugs, I’m even going to the gym daily. I appreciate the help received from The Ashley Foundation and, whilst I am not ready yet, I am hoping to move into independent living.
My future plans are to start working again. I would even like to work with The Ashley Foundation once I have got own place.
How did you find out about The Ashley Foundation?
When I was originally released from prison, the police informed me I couldn’t move back to my old address. Fortunately, the police took me to Oak House, where the officer talked the hostel manager into letting me stay for the night. This resulted in me then being offered a place at Oak House.
When I moved into Elm House this time, I already knew of The Ashley Foundation, whilst the hostel manager at Elm remembered me from my time at Oak House. My referral was completed, I then got offered a place at Elm House, where I have lived the last few months.
How do you feel The Ashley Foundation have helped you?
The Ashley Foundation have given me somewhere to live. Some of the staff members have also helped me to boost confidence. They also help encourage me to attend appointments I may previously not have attended or may have missed. I also want to prove myself to the staff in case there’s a job role in the future for me. My experience with The Ashley Foundation has made me feel more positive about my future.
Quick fire round
Favourite football team? Liverpool
Favourite footballer? Bobby Firmino
Messi or Ronaldo? Ronaldo
Favourite food? Pasta dishes and salad
Favourite band? Kasabian
Noel or Liam Gallagher? Liam
What is your least favourite type of music? Opera
Summer or winter? Summer
Where would you go if you could anywhere? New Zealand
Apple or Android? Apple
Would you rather get up at 7am or noon? 7am
What would your superpower be? Invisibility
PS4 or Xbox? PS4
Favourite game? Chess
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Frog legs and snails in France
Ketchup or brown sauce? Brown sauce
Dogs or cats? Dogs
Fingers for toes or toes for fingers? Fingers for toes
Work out preferences? Weights and Cardio
Would you rather be able to speak every language in the world or be able to talk to animals? Talk to animals
If there’s a spider in your house, do you kill it or set it free? Set it free
We would like to thank this resident for taking part in this interview. Since completing their interview, the resident has moved into independent living.