A 73-year-old man has told how he turned his life around after years spent living on the streets and battling alcohol issues.
Four months ago, Colin moved into Redwood Glades, an extra care facility in Hull that provides different levels of support to its residents.
“It was time for a change, I’d had enough. I was fed up of being ill, fed up of being taken advantage of, and I just wanted to start again,” said Colin.
Colin was born in Hull without a father and his mother died at a young age. A keen sportsman and fitness fanatic, he played football into his fifties before personal issues saw him turning to alcohol before his life started to spiral quickly out of control.
Colin said: “I’ve had quite a life, and met a lot of the wrong people. I’ve moved here (Redwood Glades) to get away from all that.”
“The best thing that ever happened to me was meeting Debbie.”
Debbie is a support worker at Hull City Council and was first introduced to Colin a few years ago when he was admitted to hospital.
Debbie worked closely with Colin when he was discharged from hospital and helped him find temporary accommodation whilst he got his life back on track.
“You can’t judge someone by what has happened in the past,” said Debbie. “You always have to give people a chance.
“I helped manage his recovery with the progress and discharge team. We’ve been on a long journey.”
It was Debbie who first mentioned to Colin that there might be an opportunity to move into Redwood Glades, an £80m care complex in Leads Road, Hull, that allows residents to live independently with a community hub with gardens, restaurants, salons and IT facilities all on-site.
“I knew about Redwood Glades but I didn’t realise how good it was,” said Colin. “When Debbie told me there was an opportunity to get accommodation here, that’s when I really got my act together.
“When I first came in I was shocked. I’d seen it on television but thought ‘that will do me’. It’s brilliant.
“It takes something like this to make you realise that there is a life.”
Colin said the help he has received from Hull City Council support workers has been invaluable.
He said: “They are great, if I’ve got a problem, I just get in touch.
They’ve been so helpful, I can’t really express how I feel, but my life would have been over if I’m honest with you if I hadn’t have got the support – I wasn’t interested in living anymore.”
Debbie said: “It’s all his own doing, we just directed him in the right direction.”
Today is the start of Carers Week 2019. Click here to find out more.
Find more information about the support services from Hull City Council here.
Colin’s name has been changed to protect his identity