Hugo worked in York then had his own studio in London for ten years. One of his finest prints adorns the wall of Restore’s own offices. Hugo’s life took a knock though, when his marriage broke down. Struggling to cope, he began drinking and became dependent on alcohol. Hugo was referred to Restore and spent three years with us, working through his difficulties and overcoming his alcohol dependency. Today, he has stayed off alcohol for more than a year and he has recently moved on successfully from Restore, into his own flat.
My wife left me and I hit the bottle, and two or three years later I was destitute. I went to see Restore and met Anne, and they gave me a room, and I was very happy about that. Restore were very good. They’re very nice people, doing a very good thing, looking to help people off the street. Whatever your circumstances may be, they help people and they give a roof over your head and a support worker. I’m 61 now. I lived my first 28 years in York, then I moved to London and had a career in photography and I had my own studio in London from 1990 to 2000, then moved back to York. When my wife left, it destroyed me really, but Restore helped me to restore myself. They were very patient with me, even when I was in a bad way, but it is thanks to Restore that I am back now and better. I will sing Restore’s praises. They’re intelligent and helpful for people. They have a Christian basis but fundamentally they are helping people who have fallen by the wayside, like me. I will be eternally grateful to them. I have my own flat now, and have just set up the dark room and I am enthusiastic again, whereas two to three years ago I was suicidal. Restore have coaxed me back into being myself, helping me with my depression and anxiety and everything else. They are brilliant; there should be something like this nationally. One thing I am very glad of is that even when I was drinking heavily, I never sold my dark room equipment or my camera equipment. Maybe deep down I knew I would do it again - and now I can.
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