Keith

Keith. No comment [laughs]. 50.

I’m originally from York. Now, I’m in Manchester. I come here… Oh god, about ten years ago, because I had a terrible drug problem, believe it or not. I come to Manchester, from the streets of York, to get clean. And I’ve managed. [laughs]

Not in Manchester, no. I’ve been very, very lucky. I was homeless in York, yeah.

My marriage split up, and accommodation is so expensive in a city like York, you were forced to live on the streets. Managed to get into an hostel, got help. Met the wife online, through the help I got from the hostel I was in. Managed to meet her, come here, and she helped me with my drug problem.

Happy. [laughs] Erm. Just happy and content in myself, which I am at the moment.

Doing this volunteering job, because it’s given me a purpose. Er. Passing my experience. There’s a couple of people, which I will not name, here, which, if they’re clean is questionable at the moment but I think they‘re staying clean from street drugs, just medication. And the experiences they’re going through, they’re asking me, like, ‘Oh, I’m starting to cry.’

I say, ‘That’s normal, the reality is coming back to you.’

‘How can I put weight on, like you?’

And I say—you’ve got certain milkshakes what someone’s on—and I say, ‘You’ve got to eat before you have your milkshake. Get rid of your milkshakes, eat little and often, and you will end up as fat as me!’ [laughs]

Freaks me out a bit sometimes, because I can see my past in front of you, and you’re thinking, ‘Oh, whoa, did I look like that?’. And you’ve got to be able to control your head because sometimes [?big head] might step in and you’ve got to push that back down again. I’ve done it, it’s no problem. ‘Did I really look like that?’ And if you let it bother you, it’s going to… I won’t swear. It’s going to bugger you up, basically.

One Way of Life, by the Levellers, because it says it all in that. It’s your life, yours, and you’ve got to cherish it.