Thanks to the Pass it on Scheme, Ian is on Track

Hi, my name is Ian Beasley and I work on the RSI team for the Sanctuary trust, I started out as a Pass it on Volunteer in early 2020. I will be forever grateful to the Sanctuary and the Pass it on scheme for the opportunity and faith they have shown in me over the past 16 months or so. Work has given my life purpose and direction, when not so long ago it was a completely different story…….

I come from many years stuck in addiction, my life revolved around alcohol and drugs. I have lived street homeless and just drifted from one bad situation to another. I spent years trying to “quit” telling myself I would stop tomorrow but every morning would wake up and do it all again. I would wake up sick every morning and the overwhelming urge to use always won. I tried detoxes, locking myself away, changing my friends and staying with family, nothing worked for me because my thinking and behaviour remained the same. The guilt and shame was overwhelming and I distanced myself from everyone that cared for me. I ended up living like a recluse, in a house that never got cleaned, I rarely washed and I never opened the curtains. The only time I ventured out was after dark to score and get alcohol. I was a mess, my life was a mess, my health was deteriorating rapidly and I honestly believed my addiction was going to kill me sooner rather than later.

In early 2019 after an incident that brought me extremely close to a lengthy prison sentence, I decided to give getting clean a real go. I went to my local drug and alcohol services and started to engage. I ended up in a rehab centre and truly believe that, with the help of my counsellors and peer group, that’s when I started to learn about myself, the way I react to situations and some of the behaviours behind my addiction. After 4 months I came home, and knew that I had to do something different, I wanted to keep myself busy and try to help other people who were in similar situations to myself, so I got in touch with the Sanctuary to ask if I could volunteer.

I started to help out in the old Reaching Out Centre, making coffee and chatting with the guys who dropped in regularly, soon I was shadowing the RSI team and really enjoyed it. My confidence started to grow and when a job came up on the team I applied.

I’m now in full time employment, my role involves identifying rough sleepers out on the streets, supporting them into emergency accommodation and beyond. I do a lot of crisis work involving quick intervention and support around the prevention of rough sleeping. I work alongside other agencies, where we help each other to best support and help our most complex individuals. My role can be frustrating at times but the rewards far out way any negatives, when I see someone move into their own tenancy after they have spent time living on the streets I feel emotionally empowered and know that the job I do really does benefit others.

I am an addict in active recovery and continue to work on myself to gain a better knowledge and understanding of myself, so that in turn, I can hopefully help others on a similar path to me. I believe in myself today when once I didn’t believe in anyone or anything, especially myself. I am proud of what I have achieved and I am proud of what I do. I believe that anything is possible, it takes some hard work and dedication but with the support of people who believe in second chances anyone can do what I have done. The sanctuary trust and the pass it scheme are a huge part of my recovery, they have given me the training, the correct supervision and the encouragement I needed to become a productive member of society, and I feel like I now give a little back to the community I grew up in, and also the one I took so much from. I cant praise the Pass it scheme enough, after all, who understands the chaos of homelessness and addiction better that someone who has that lived experience.

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