Darren joined Restore after spending time in a bail hostel and another supported accommodation setting. He was determined to make a fresh start and not go back to his old way of life.
Darren’s mum died while he was in prison, and this had a massive impact on his view of life once he was released. He wanted to turn over a new leaf and move away from the kind of life he’d lived before. After his release, Darren lived in a couple of different places, before he moved into a house with Restore in May 2021. At first, he had reservations about moving into shared accommodation, but he decided to give it a try and was impressed with the quality of support he received during his time here. He was with us for seven months. When he was first offered a council tenancy in December 2021, he wasn’t sure whether to take it, as the cost of running a property on his own overwhelmed him. But, with the advice and support of Restore staff members, he began to see that it would be a good move for him. Because of his experiences, solitude doesn’t scare him, but he loves his freedom and is determined to make good choices in his life, so that he never faces going back to prison. Although he acknowledges, “there is no magic wand,” through hard work and determination Darren has got himself into a really good place mentally. Darren has plans for the future now: he’s learning to drive, trying to learn to cook so that he can eat more healthily, and enjoys fishing with his nephew when he can. He sees the support he has received from various Restore staff as a vital part of that process: when asked to say one way in which Restore has made a difference in his life, Darren responds:
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