At Christmas 2015 Jason was sleeping in a winter night shelter having lost his job and his home after a downward spiral into alcoholism following the death of his partner. He was drinking in excess of 14 bottles of vodka a week and was told that he only had a year to live.
After receiving help from several support agencies including many emergency food packs from the Loveworks food bank, he now stands tall to tell his story having just signed a new lease on a flat and secured a new job working in security at Gatwick airport.
“My life has done a complete 180 degree turn from being a drunk and homeless to being a clear-headed, sober man every day”, says Jason. “I owe these people everything”.
Jason says that he sought help from many organisations including a drug and alcohol recovery charity i-access, the Renewed Hope Housing Trust (a local night shelter) and Transform Housing who found him shared temporary accommodation on leaving the night shelter and helped him with Loveworks food bank vouchers.
Jason’s life didn’t always look like this. Born in Redhill in 1969, he’s been a plumber all his life. He ran a pub for seven years and never really drank. He worked at Gatwick airport for BAA in security and his last job was working in a school. Jason’s partner sadly died eight years ago “She was lovely, we were just about to become grandparents and she died of an aneurysm two days before the baby was due” says Jason. “I took the wrong path and went down the alcoholic one”.
Jason took his GP’s advice after hearing his words ‘you’ll be dead within the year’. He said “I’ve got to do this, I don’t want to die, I’m 47”.
Jason took up cycling and got fit too once he was not drinking the alcohol. “I feel alive again and I’ve not had a drink for six months” says Jason.
Jen Sanderson, Charity Manager at Loveworks said “Jason was able to access support for his alcoholism through i-access. Because agencies and local charities work in a collaborative way, Jason was able to receive emergency food packs from Loveworks whilst receiving his treatment. We were delighted to hear that Jason has turned his life around, now has a roof over his head and a regular income so that he can support himself”.