You First key worker Katy has been working with 32 year old Sarah* since September 2014. Sarah was considered to be ‘not engaging’ with any agencies or services previous to this.

Sarah and her siblings were removed from family care as young children. After leaving school, she eventually became an injecting crack and heroin user, a heavy drinker and was street homeless. She had several children, who were removed from her and have since been adopted. She has been in and out of prison many times and currently wears a tag. She was not claiming benefits, falling in and out of drug treatment and was heavily in debt.

Our partnership approach means that the team had a comprehensive picture of Sarah’s chaotic history before Katy met her. Katy started by meeting Sarah for breakfast and a chat, initially working on building Sarah’s trust and working out achievable daily steps. Katy has helped Sarah get the basics sorted, like setting up benefits, registering with a GP, getting used to the routine of attending appointments and accompanying Sarah to court for a bail hearing.

Five months later, Sarah is starting to do it on her own. She meets her drug worker fortnightly and tries not to miss appointments. She has started to attend a weekly group at a local alcohol service.

It is very early days, but building a trusted relationship means that Sarah has someone to turn to when times are tough, the first step in a long road to recovery.                                 

*We have changed Sarah’s name.





Nathan image

Nathan has an extensive history of offending - with 58 convictions and 95 offences with ten of those occurring in 2014. His first offence dated back to 1977. Nathan is a proud, independent man who has had various jobs in construction and in the NHS in his early adult life. However he sustained a head injury on a building site in the 1980’s and was deemed to be unfit for work. This is when his life changed and his difficulties began.

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Matthew is a 51-year-old man, originally from Northern Ireland. Matthew had a difficult childhood. He grew up in extreme poverty, experienced physical and psychological abuse, parental alcohol misuse, and witnessed political violence.

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Jennifer image

Jenny is a female in her early 20’s and from a large, well known Southwark family. There is a long history of criminality in the male side of the family and her Mother is a drug user and sex worker. She has a brother and two younger sisters. She was taken into care as a young girl following incidents of neglect and sexual abuse in the home.

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