Jeremy's story

“My journey has been eventful one, with lots of twists and turns along the way!”

Jeremy is a Floating Support Worker for DHI’s Reach service. Jeremy helps people to find suitable housing and then maintain their tenancy.

Jeremy has been full circle with DHI – he started as a DHI client before becoming a peer, and is now a full-time member of staff.

A turning point

“I was released from prison on license back in January 2012. I was on a prescribed heroin substitute, and staying at my brother's, sleeping on his sofa. Part of my conditions were to engage with services, namely DHI. It was part of my license to reside at that address, so I was traveling to Bath three times a week by bus to attend the DHI groups.

“After a while I realised I wanted more from life, so I asked my key worker, Sam, if I could be placed in a hostel. I secured a place in a ‘wet’ hostel – somewhere you can drink. This was far from ideal for me at that time, so Sam made a referral to DHI’s Burlington Street scheme.

“That referral was successful and I started my detox on Monday 11th June 2012. I will always remember that date as I have not touched drugs or alcohol since then. I have even given up smoking cigarettes.

Next steps

“After my detox I knew I wanted to help others, so I started a peer mentoring course with DHI and on completion I was offered the chance to help out at the RUH, talking with patients who were admitted for drink or drug related issues.

“It really was such a positive experience. I decided that I wanted to do more and so I applied for a housing apprenticeship with DHI’s Reach service. I was unsuccessful at the time but a few months later, I received a call from DHI Reach Manager Nik who asked if I was still interested in working for Reach – to which I responded instantly with a yes!

“I stared my apprenticeship in April 2015. I went on to complete a level two NVQ in housing. Not long after I was offered a full-time job with Reach. In that time I have grown massively as a person. I am proud to be a colleague and a productive member of society.

Helping others

“It's been such a positive step working for DHI and I have lots of people who have told me that they look up at me as an inspiration – which goes to show that if someone like me can do it then anyone can.

“I've helped so many people over the years and that, for me, is the reason I get up every morning with a smile on my face and go to work.”

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