Jay’s story

Before Jay (not his real name) came to us, he couldn’t read or write. He had been in and out of prison, and in and out of hospital with mental health problems.

He’s been clean and sober for 3 years now and hasn’t stepped back inside a hospital.

Wearing his signature Nike trainers, Jay’s about to start his weekly session with Margaret, our volunteer literacy tutor.

“I couldn’t used to read or write so I thought I might as well become a drug dealer. But now I just want to pick up books all the time." 

"I couldn’t used to read or write so I thought I might as well become a drug dealer. But now I just want to pick up books all the time."

“I left school at 13 and just got involved with the wrong crowd” he said. “If I couldn’t get something from someone, either I already had what they have or I would have just taken it from them.”

Since beginning his rehab at Acorn House in 2011, our residential recovery hostel in Shoreditch, he’s gained a lot of hope.

“Going into hospitals never changed my outcome for me. I got a lot of false hope. Always false hope. Staying at Acorn House and now doing regular courses at the New Hanbury Project has changed my attitude.

I just want to learn and learn and hopefully one day I can start working with misbehaved kids.”

"Staying at Acorn House and now doing regular courses at the New Hanbury Project has changed my attitude.”

 “I’ve covered some miles, I’ve come a long way. I never used to be at ease with myself y‘know? Now I’m just learning and learning and growing and growing…”

With our help, Jay has recently started English and Maths courses at college.

Read more stories of personal transformation in The Accidental Hipster, SCT's 50th anniversay magazine (PDF, 5Mb)

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