I have a drinking problem. It got to the stage where I was drinking cider every night. I was living with my mum and she’d basically had enough; she said that if I didn’t stop drinking, she’d have to kick me out.
Thankfully, I knew someone who was a companion here at Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire, and he recommended reaching out to Emmaus. He told me the charity helps people who are in my situation. I was particularly interested in the fact that as well as accommodation, I’d get the opportunity to work during the daytime.
I moved into the community in September 2022. If I hadn’t contacted Emmaus and got the help I needed, I’d probably be homeless right now. My drinking would have got worse too. When I was at home, I managed to limit my drinking to evenings, so I wouldn’t annoy mum as much. If she had chucked me out and I’d had nowhere to live, I think I would’ve started to drink during the day too.
It’s been really good so far. I like that the workday keeps me busy, as otherwise I’d be constantly thinking about drinking. My daily routine here changes from day to day. Sometimes I help to run our charity shop in Coventry, or I might be working in the community house. The days I most enjoy are when I go out on one of our vans, collecting bulky waste on behalf of the local councils, or collecting and delivering furniture for customers. I like getting to see bits of Coventry and the local area that I’ve never seen before.
I’m from Devon originally, so I’ve enjoyed being able to explore the Warwickshire countryside too; I prefer the countryside to urban areas. There’s a lake near here that I walk to regularly and I’m hoping to rediscover an old hobby by going fishing soon.
I used to live in a small village where everyone knew each other, so I also appreciate being able to walk around Coventry; there’s so much to see in a big city.
My family are very supportive of me living here. I make sure I keep in touch with them. In fact, my sister has recently joined another Emmaus community. She was in a similar situation to me, battling a drink problem. I told her about how Emmaus has helped me, so she looked into it and is now settling in well.
Eventually I want to start my own business. I used to work as a gardener-landscaper for five years and I really enjoyed it. In the short-term, I’m looking forward to getting involved in gardening here at Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire, helping to improve the grounds around the accommodation. I’m already planning where to construct a vegetable patch.
The team at Emmaus has helped me to apply for specialist addiction support, which will start soon. I also want to get my driver’s licence, so I’m hoping the charity will support me to book in some lessons and take my test.
The best part of Emmaus is definitely the people. I enjoy the community atmosphere here; there’s a relaxed, homely feel which I really appreciate; it feels like being part of a family.