My Grandad has always said to me that a man in the garden is a man at peace. For much of my life, I struggled to find that peace in myself, having grappled with addiction problems since my teens. Now I finally feel like all my ducks are lining up. Going into gardening will give me the chance to follow this new path and reach my full potential.
I've been homeless many times - sofa surfing, hostels, rehabs. This was my life since I was 23. Drugs and alcohol cost me a lot of opportunities. Yet in a funny way I am grateful to have ended up where I am. I live forwards and learn backwards.
Veterans Aid have been instrumental in helping me turn things around. No one has ever given me such support. With their help, I've seen a psychiatrist and been given a true diagnosis and medication. This has helped me make sense of my past. I feel like I'm on a level playing field with my mental health and addiction.
I already know what company I'd like to work for when I'm trained. They specialise in living walls - basically a vertical garden installed on the side of a building. I love the idea of creating and maintaining these. And the fact that they are there not just for beauty but also as a way of oxygenating urban areas. I'm so looking forward to achieving all my goals - with your support!