Get Ahead: Harry's Story

Get Ahead: Harry's Story

August 2023

3 Min Read

Get Ahead participant Harry shares his story of how the Get Ahead team supported him after graduating from Oaktrees and beginning his sobriety journey.

My life was pretty bleak, no direction and I was very uncertain of how my future looked. I was unconfident and didn’t believe in my abilities. I was lost. I was looking for change but not knowing where to start. Coming out of recovery after working in hospitality, knowing I couldn’t go back to that and worrying that my behaviours would go back to how they were.

I needed to find direction and find work as my finances weren’t great. I needed someone to reassure me things would be okay and to help me deal with ‘normal’ life, and find the confidence to move forward.

I felt very uncertain. It was overbearing. I was desperately worried about not being ready for work, but needed to because of money. I knew I needed to focus on my health and wellbeing but had the pressure of finances weighing on my mind.

I was in a recovery programme with Oaktrees and the Project Worker referred me to Aimee (Get Ahead Employment Coach) upon my Graduation. I had no worries when coming to work with the Get Ahead team as Aimee had previously came along to Oaktrees to do an Employment session and told us about what she does. I met her then and she inspired me to graduate, as I could see there was a light at the end of the tunnel and I wasn’t then just left to get on with things on my own. I would have ongoing support.

The first session was really informative and reassuring, there was a lot of paperwork but not too overwhelming. Aimee had the pace of the paperwork side of things just right. It felt organised and professional but still kept at a friendly level. Aimee let me know I could contact her at anytime and I found her really approachable.

Aimee referred me to Lynn (Get Ahead Financial Inclusion worker) so she could help with my finances to give me breathing space to look after my wellbeing before going straight into work. We both had concerns that this wouldn’t be conducive to my recovery.

Lynn helped me go through the PIP process and I was awarded standard rate. Aimee helped with support with volunteering and job searching, my CV and applications. Also general reassurance and regular check ins so I knew I had support with emotional sobriety and wellbeing.

I felt like a pressure had been lifted. I had a plan and some direction and I was starting a new journey. I had structure. I felt that things were moving but not necessarily at a fast pace and I was achieving milestones. I learned it was a marathon not a sprint.

After working with the team, my life has turned a complete 180. I am sober, I have a future and good mental and physical wellbeing. Things with the family are brilliant – I am a much better father and husband and know they are proud of what I have achieved. The girls are young but I can see they love me so much more now. I feel like I got there just in time with my older girl particularly. I have a lot more of a presence within the family and can give them what they deserve. Not just financially but emotionally too.

Now I am optimistic and excited. I enjoy waking up and looking forward to living, I used to dread it. Even on bad days, I see the good.

I'm looking forward to being able to be a normal member of society. Doing a job that I will enjoy – it’s actually a career, not a job. I look forward to having a purpose and doing something meaningful. I am looking forward to guiding people on their right track.

If you think you could benefit from the services that we provide at Get Ahead, find out more here.