Darren’s Drummed up Determination

Darren initially came to reside with us when the project was based in Pensarn and was being run by what was formally known as Clwyd Cornerstone Trust. His referral was made due to his addiction to alcohol.

From the start, Darren made good progress in his recovery and was admired by staff and residents alike in his efforts and determination to address and ultimately beat his addiction. Darren concentrated his time on taking part in sporting activities to keep his mind occupied and to resist temptation. Darren also joined up with a music group, who taught Darren to play the drums, culminating in many gigs up and down the country and even the odd disc cutting.

As Darren thought he had made sufficient progress in beating his addiction he made the decision to move back in with his wife and try to rebuild their marriage. Unfortunately, after a short period of time, it became apparent that the marriage was not going to last and his partner asked him to leave. This again left Darren homeless and subsequently he found solace in alcohol.

After more alcohol abuse and much travelling, Darren was again drawn to Sanctuary Cornerstone and in December 2006 was referred to us via the probation service.

Despite some staff reservations, Darren was given a second chance to put his life in order, and in fairness to Darren, with lots of determination this is exactly what he did. Darren's progress the second time round was instrumental to where he finds himself today.

In February 2007 the project moved premises and Darren's contribution to the move was pivotal; Darren was very helpful and enthusiastic. The determination to succeed grew while residing at the new premises; Holborn House and Darren very quickly portrayed the role of senior resident. This progress continued through to the back end of June 2007. At this point Darren felt ready for independent living and he led the task of securing accommodation in Colwyn Bay, where Darren still lives to this day.

Initially Darren, being soft hearted, once again attempted the restoration of his marriage. This was short lived; however Darren stuck with it and despite the breakdown of the marriage and indeed a divorce Darren kept himself very busy with involvement in local agencies such as, Channel and Nacro also Channel's 5-a-side football events, whereby he has worked hard and earned the position of deputy organizer.

Darren continues to progress and keeps contact on a regular basis with all the staff team here at Sanctuary Trust's Cornerstone project, who have continued to support Darren in their own time due to the lack of move on support.  Darren remains abstinent from alcohol still and is now seeking further involvement with local projects as he feels there is much he can offer due to his vast knowledge of alcohol and the misuse of alcohol.

Darren is currently seeking some form of Voluntary work in this field and although offers have been few and far between he remains focused on where he would like to eventually be.


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John Priestly


Sanctuary Trust works with homelessness and homeless related poverty and emergency homeless issues. God's Sanctuary was the vision of Sheila Halsall after seeing the level of homelessness Rochdale and later the homelessness Conwy and the substance misuse such as Drugs and Alcohol. By Providing emergency shelter for the homeless in supported housing services funded mainly through Supporting People we assist other providers such as Shelter homelessness, Petrus and Stepping Stones who are also supporting people through women's and men's hostels and floating support. We also have a Nightstop (crash pad). With our work in Wales we partner with Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) as they provide financial help for homeless through emergency shelter and their Supporting People funds. There are different kinds of accommodation available but what is needed is good quality supported accommodation with a strong business and development plan. We have also provided consultancy service to help others move closer to an answer to homelessness. Our social enterprise company, Sanctuary Trust Enterprises runs Noah's Ark Play Centre, The Storehouse Charity Shop.