‘It’s a wonderful life being in charge of your own destiny, especially if you’ve got a talent’.



“I wouldn’t go with a girl who would go with someone with teeth like mine. I want someone with a bit of class”


‘It was depressing waking up in the morning. I’d tie something round my eyes to try and trick myself that it wasn’t morning yet. I’d just try and stay in bed for as long as I could, just until I got too hungry and had to get up’.

Steve has traveled a lot and spent over 10 years with the love of his life Michelle in Spain. Many of his relapses into addiction fall after relationship breakdowns and this one hit him really hard. Despite a successful commission to run a hugely popular sand sculpture workshop series in Liverpool he almost lost everything until Michelle sought him out and found him in a crack den and took him to an emergency shelter.

He attempted to come off drugs a few times, but would get back into them in homeless hostels, where he was surrounded by people using.

Three weeks before we met him, Steve was hit by a car. He went to hospital. During this time he couldn’t use heroin or cocaine and this gave him the opportunity to come off drugs.


“Something has changed within me, since the accident for some reason. I have a far more positive and happy outlook on life”




When we met him, Steve was living in a YMCA hostel and had recently been upgraded to his own personal flat. He’d had a transformative few weeks and was in an incredibly positive, and reflective space.

Unfortunately, however, we haven’t been able to reach him to follow-up with him. He has now left his accommodation and is out of reach.


If Steve’s story has touched you, let him know.
Take 2 minutes to send Steve a message.




Insights that relate to Steve’s story:

What is normal?

icons4.pngPeople experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage have often grown up in worlds where alcohol or drug use, violence, or offending are normal. How much does it take for someone to recognise and challenge these norms? Services need to not just focus on the individual, but also support whole families and sometimes communities to change.

For a more in-depth insight, read these stories and blog posts:

Paul James Natasha Tex Steve


The system is full of missed opportunities

icons5Most of the interactions people have had with services could be seen as missed opportunities. By stigmatising people and focusing on ‘risk’ rather than recovery, services end up not providing the right support and disempower people. Services are missing key moments when help is needed and people are reaching out.

For a more in-depth insight, read these stories and blog posts:

Lizz James Natasha Steve
A system of missed opportunities The system punishes you for doing well


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