Sharon, a former customer, shared her story at our launch party at the House of Commons last October. Now she works as a Trainee Support Worker at our Bromley service.
Below is the interview she gave for the winter edition of our Customer Newsletter.
‘I thought I’d be really nervous about speaking at the House of Commons event, but leading up to it, I wasn’t. I had a normal, healthy amount of nerves, but I was looking forward to it. And you know what? I loved it!
I felt like I was in the right place at the right time – saying what I wanted to say, what I needed to say.
I didn’t want to dwell on the past, because for me that is the past, I wanted to focus on the positive things – like my achievements. I loved the event; it was honestly one of the best days of my life.
I met some fantastic people, and there was one conversation that really stood out for me. After my speech, in which I shared my experience of recovery from addiction, someone came up to me and thanked me – there was champagne at the event and they had been struggling a bit. But after my speech, they felt stronger. It really stuck with me and I thought, if nothing else, at that moment I knew that what I’d said helped somebody.
Now I have started as a Trainee Support Worker, I’m so excited! I applied for the job via the CEP website (Customer Employment Partnership) and I am delighted to now be working for a charity that helps the homeless around London.
I enjoy working with a group of customers and being able to encourage them, and being able to do everything that I can for them. I really feel that Evolve is like a big family. Everyone genuinely cares about what happens.
The passion and the people have drawn me to working for Evolve. Over the past year, I’ve got a genuine sense of the staff’s love for their work and I wanted to be a part of that. I’ve always dreamed of working somewhere where I’m passionate about the work and I want to do something that means something. Coming to Evolve literally saved my life – it’s a part of me now and I’m a part of Evolve. It’s about being part of a team that I respect and admire – it’s a no brainer.
My advice for customers coming into the organisation is this: look at it as not just another hostel; don’t moan about it or just focus on the negative. Look at it as a chance to change, which is so possible here because of the staff. Work with them, leave your ego at the door, ask for help and take every opportunity that you’re given and make the most of it. Try new things, step out of your comfort zone. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to do it again, but give it a go. Smile a lot, believe in yourself and go for it!’