Richard's story is the first in a short series of case studies about people who have recently come to the Booth Centre for support.
"I lost my flat because I started getting into difficulty and didn't ask for help in time. I ended up sofa-surfing for a number of weeks. I came to the Booth Centre because I knew they wouldn't judge me.
I have formed friendships through the drop-ins and activities here. I really enjoy helping other people who are in a similar situation, or who are struggling more than I am. I can often give other people advice because I've been there too.
I like keeping busy and having something to do with my day. I am busy job searching at the moment and making the room in my hostel more homely. The bedding I have has cigarette burns in it and the pillows are flat, and although everything is clean it would make a difference to get some decent bedding. I suffer from insomnia quite a bit and I think it would help with that. It would also be something that I could take with me when I move into my own place.
Previously I've worked in the catering industry and the Booth Centre has helped me develop my skills in cooking, which is a real passion of mine. It would be great to help run the cookery classes at the Centre at some point. It can be hard to cook hearty meals for myself and friends without quality pots and pans though, and I'm keen to keep up my cooking skills for when I get back to work in the future.
I am a very organised person and I like structure and boundaries when I'm working, but coming to the Booth Centre and doing activities like the art class are great because I feel like there are no right or wrong answers, and I can just get creative, express myself and have a laugh."
Update: We bought Richard new bedding, as well as some pots and pans. Richard is currently on a work placement with Business in the Community and we are now helping him to apply for his own flat.
Thank you to all the people that have given permission for us to share their stories. Names and some details have been changed to protect anonymity.