Albert's Story


Albert was street homeless after losing his tenancy due to debt problems.  He could no longer deny his gambling had become a problem; Albert needed to take some action.  Following a successful assessment process, Albert moved into Halsall House abstinence project to begin his journey to recovery. 

It took him a few months to settle in.  Slowly, Albert started to take steps to address the underlining reasons for his addictive behaviours.  He engaged well with the service and attends weekly training sessions.  But something was missing.  It was during one of the training sessions where Albert realised, he was bored.

This is a fairly common situation for our beneficiaries.  Addiction can lead to a lifestyle of extreme highs and lows.  The chaos of addiction becomes a way of life, there is comfort to be found in the roller-coaster of an addictive lifestyle.  When a person makes the decision to step off the roller-coaster, life can feel quite mundane, and in turn rather uncomfortable. 

In addition, there is a huge time void that exists post addiction.  Albert used to visit Bookies all day long; there was company in the Bookies.  Friends to meet, just people to talk too.  Now what am I supposed to do? Albert would think. 

Unfortunately, it was this state of mind that led to Albert suffering a lapse, he gambled all his rent money away and received 28day notice at Halsall house.  When deconstructing the chain of events that led to the lapse, Albert was able to recognise the underlining reasons for the slip up; he was lonely and missed the social aspect of his former lifestyle.  Until he sourced a suitable replacement to the Bookies, a relapse was only a matter of time.

Thankfully, Albert found his alternative.  Volunteering 5 days a week at a local charity shop;

Albert 2

'Its great to have a little bit of money in my pocket, before I would spend it all in the bookies.  And I love the banter with the lads at the shop, I am happy again' Albert said. 

And most importantly, since starting volunteering at the Charity shop in August 2017, Albert has not visited a Bookies.  Well done Albert, keep up the good work!


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 STEP Emergency overnight provision. 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.