Going by the pseudonym of AP, AP is a 34-year-old male who is a long-term resident of Blackburn with Darwen who has accessed multiple services within the district, such as substance misuse services, and homeless hostels, whilst also being sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
He became known to the Roots Community when he attended the initial consultation and planning meetings that were held during the formation of the forum. At the time, AP was residing in the local Tier 4 rehab, the “Thomas Project,” and was approaching the latter phase of his treatment.
AP continued to attend Roots Forums, and as he progressed into the second stage of supported housing, he increased his attendance and became an ad-hoc volunteer for Roots. This included supporting the forum in a variety of activities such as meeting and greeting people, attending planning meetings, liaising with professionals, serving food and drinks at forums, sharing his lived experience publicly, and interviewing other lived experience shares.
Believing he has grown in confidence due to a direct result of working with Roots, AP felt positive after receiving encouragement and praise following his public speaking and sharing his lived experience. Attending the speaker bootcamp training by Red Rose Recovery, AP’s social skills started to improve and gaining confidence in public speaking.
AP has improved his network of social connections both personally and professionally becoming more reliable and having more structure to his life. AP became one year clean on the 2nd of February. He has attained part-time employment through volunteering at Bonum Court and actively participates in 180 CrossFit in Darwen, the Shad Chefs ‘Man Hub’ and attends mutual aid meetings. He is now contributing financially and emotionally to the upbringing of his 2-year-old son.
AP has grown visibly and has demonstrated that with hard work, those previously considered a drain on public resources can become positive contributors to the wider community. In his own words, he states that ‘Roots Community has been a large part of his growth’.