Barrie's Story

Barrie came to Restore in June 2022. He was once a successful business man with a wife and family, but when his marriage broke down and he lost his business, he got involved with drugs. He was sleeping underneath his van, and as his mental health plummeted, he had multiple attempts at suicide. When he found out that his daughter was expecting his first grandchild, however, his mindset changed. He made a promise to his daughter to get clean from drugs and sort his life out.

He contacted the Salvation Army, who found him a place in a hostel. At first, after sleeping underneath his van, the hostel – with a room of his own and a private bathroom – felt like a blessing, but soon the chaotic nature of hostel life took its toll on Barrie. He stayed there for five months, until he was offered a room in a shared house at Restore. From the moment he moved into our property, it felt like home. He bonded instantly with his fellow housemates, whom he describes as “true friends” and still sees most days, even though they’ve all moved onto their own tenancies now.

The support he’s received at Restore helped him to mend relationships with his parents and his children, and he now speaks to them regularly. He has some issues with mobility, so it was a long wait to find a ground floor flat for him, but he finally moved to a place of his own in supported accommodation earlier this year. At first, he was overwhelmed by the amount of space he had, and spent the first six weeks basically living out of just one room until he adjusted. Now though, he feels really at home in his new flat and is excited about plans for the garden when the spring comes.

Barrie says he couldn’t have imagined how hopeless losing everything would make him feel, or how much more he would appreciate life now, having hit rock bottom in the past. “Life’s about hope,” he says, and he’s now determined to set a good example and “make sure I pass on good to my kids.” He’s volunteering at the hostel where he lived before coming to Restore, trying to help organise activities and provide a sense of purpose to other residents. He values the opportunity to share his experiences with others and help people through similar circumstances.

“If I can make a difference to even one person, then it was worth me staying alive.”

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