Tyne Stories: John’s Story

John’s* story demonstrates the complex challenges many of our residents face in their day to day life. Before coming to live with us at Tyne, John felt that he couldn’t find the support he needed. Now with the help of his support worker, he is living independently and for the first time no longer feels alone.

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of residents.

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“I was born in South Shields. My childhood was canny rough, my behaviour at school was rubbish and I just never really felt like I fit in. The only thing I actually liked in school was playing football – I still love football now actually.

When I was a kid I got involved in some pretty difficult stuff with friends. I had to go to court to give evidence against a man who abused children which was really messed up. At 15 my mam kicked me out of the house so I had to go live with my dad, our relationship broke down and he started getting physically abusive with me. At this point I wasn’t sure what to do anymore, I always struggled with relationships so I didn’t have anyone to turn to.

I found myself living in a hostel when I was still young, this was a hard point in my life. I was in a pretty dark place and the only things I had to block it all out were drugs and alcohol. I started drinking Vodka every day just to be able to cope with life.

I thought things were looking up when I met a nice girl and we moved into a flat. This didn’t last long. Our relationship began to break down, and shortly after I found myself back in the hostels. My Mam took me to get help when I was 21 and it was then that I got diagnosed with Aspergers. A lot of things suddenly started to make sense to me because I’d always struggle with relationships and just interacting with people was hard. In some ways, I wish I never found out though because it makes me feel like I’m not normal. I struggle a lot with this feeling.

Eventually, my social worker helped me to get into shared accommodation, this wasn’t what I was hoping it was though. There was a lot of drinking and drug use happening around me. It just wasn’t the right space for me and I found my health suffering because of it.

Even though I didn’t like it, I always kept up with my rent and eventually got help through Tyne Housing. I’ve now got my own flat with Tyne in Byker and have a really good support worker, Lucy. I’ve had my fair share of problems but she’s been helping me get the help I need and now I’m much more sorted. She’s working with me to apply to Your Homes Newcastle to get my own council flat which I’m really excited about.

I’m only 26 now and I’m looking forward to the future. I’m wanting to learn how to weld and maybe even do a bit of woodworking. I want to learn new skills and get into work – I’ve been a divvy in the past but my head’s screwed on now. Thanks to Plummer Court and my monthly counselling appointments my alcohol use has gone down and I’m determined to keep it that way.

I have people who are actually helping now, I know I can trust Lucy and if I’m ever struggling I can always reach out to her. I have a better relationship with my family now and a good group of friends around me. I’m not alone.”

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Here at Tyne, it’s people like John that keep us motivated to continue working hard to help people get to a better place. John’s story shows that with the right mindset, and people you can trust, anybody can turn their life around. We are incredibly proud of him.