Speaking to Anthony today, it’s hard to imagine he was at rock bottom just five months ago when he first showed up at our workshop. It had been a tough year. Anthony had started drinking after a relationship breakup, and he lost his job soon afterwards as things spiralled out of control. Estranged from his family and living in a hostel he had nothing to lose by giving Handcrafted a try.
On his first day at the workshop, Anthony began to rebuild himself. He saw the opportunity to do something practical with wood and nails that demonstrated what he really valued. A toy box for his daughter was ambitious for a ‘first day’ project, but he pushed through and completed it by the end of the day. He also connected with others who understood how he felt because they’d had similar struggles.
“I met nice people at Handcrafted who said about just taking life five minutes at a time, taking it easy.”
Anthony showed an interest in the house renovation projects that we had on the go. In the weeks that followed, he went to work on renovations with our trainer, Matt Arthurs, and started a tenancy in one of our properties.
“I’m living in a handcrafted property at the moment and getting support. There’s the support there as and when I need it.
In the meantime, the toy box went down well. Anthony’s family saw him making positive changes, hope was rekindled and contact improved. We’ve been able to be alongside him while he’s made the best of what we have to offer: building confidence on practical projects, being part of a community, having a place to live and making it a home … finding employment and getting life back on track.
We were able to arrange a job trial for Anthony from his interest in renovations. The connection was a success.
“I’ve now started full time employment: I’m working full time as a brick layer. I’ve had all the support I needed off Handcrafted to enable us to do that. I think Handcrafted has helped us a lot to see things in a different light.”