‘Where I’m from, people bring you down. When they see you’re up, they want to bring you down. Now my family is proud of me.’
Three months ago, Finn* came to Yellow Ribbon directly from prison. The prison chaplain gave him a leaflet about us and he met Mark, the Yellow Ribbon chaplain, shortly before leaving prison. He did not feel he could go back to his home town, where there were people who would draw him back to drugs. Finn feels that if he hadn’t come to Yellow Ribbon, he would probably have gone back to using drugs and ended up in prison again, where he previously self-harmed.
Finn likes to keep busy and has been active tidying up gardens for Yellow Ribbon houses and for neighbours, who really appreciate his hard work. Helping others helps him feel good. But he recognizes that he needs to look after himself too and now goes to the gym regularly. He keeps going to Yellow Ribbon’s 12 Steps Recovery sessions to remind himself of the low point he has come from.
When Finn spent 6 months in drug rehab before prison, he felt he got to know God better. Soon after coming to Yellow Ribbon, he felt ready to be baptized. Every Sunday, Finn goes to church with other clients and members of staff – he is going to help at another client’s baptism soon.
Recently, Finn was asked to take part in a video telling his story and is proud and pleased that his mother saw this and that it might help others. Finn feels good about himself now and wants to get back in touch with his teenage son he hasn’t seen for seven years. The longer he left it after splitting up from his partner, the harder he found it to get back in touch with his son. But Finn hopes Yellow Ribbon staff will be able to help him re-establish contact with his son.
Finn says, ‘ Yellow Ribbon is a support. I feel in my heart I’m in the right place, I’ve never felt that before. I’ve found my route, my path. I’d lost myself, but I’ve got family again.’