I came to YMCA Cheltenham in June 2017. When I arrived I was on probation and a suspended sentence and on a compulsory order to engage with the drugs and alcohol services. My life was pretty messed up, I had lost everything including my dog and I won’t lie to you the idea of coming to the YMCA was really scary. 

For the first few weeks I hardly spoke to anyone and I made some stupid choices but my keyworker was really understanding and challenged me to get my act together.  I battled for a while between what I was familiar with and turning my life around.

With time and effort from myself and support from the staff, and some false starts, I eventually found work as a pastry chef. I am now a team leader in a high quality hotel restaurant and free from class A drugs.  I am just about to move into my own flat and know that my keyworker will continue to keep an eye on me and help me to settle in.

I can honestly say that without the help of the YMCA I don’t know where I would be now, probably not alive.

*Name changed to protect identity