Posted : 3rd February 2016
“I kept coming back to Fircroft – I absolutely loved the family atmosphere and how everyone was so encouraging and supportive.”
Dan White from Nuneaton spent most of his late teens and twenties addicted to heroin and crack cocaine. It was a destructive and chaotic time in his life. Dan was working sporadically in construction but, unable to hold down employment for any length of time, he was often homeless and also experienced spells in prison.
Dan started to turn his life around in his late twenties, overcoming his drug addiction with the help of Livingstone House in Birmingham. It was while he was in recovery that he first heard about Fircroft College. Dan always knew he wanted to get back into education – he’d always done well at school and felt he could and should have gone onto further and even higher education.
He enrolled on part-time courses at two mainstream colleges in Birmingham before first coming to Fircroft in 2012. Dan says, “At this point I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, I just knew I wanted to work with people and help other people.” Before long Dan had completed several courses on Fircroft’s Stepping Stones programme, as well as some ICT and Personal and Social Development courses. He comments, “I kept coming back to Fircroft – I absolutely loved the family atmosphere and how everyone was so encouraging and supportive.” He also gained his first paid employment in over 5 years at Fircroft, becoming a member of the College’s student support team, which helped him further grow in confidence and got him back into the work routine.
Dan was thrilled to gain a full-time role at Trident Reach in 2013 as a homeless support worker, and in just 15 months was promoted to Team Leader of the Washington Court Hostel. He recently left that role and is now working at City Hospital, assessing patients due to be discharged who have no fixed abode. It’s Dan’s responsibility to find appropriate housing for these patients and ensure they have the support they need. It’s a role he loves.
Dan is now 33 and his life now is vastly different to what it was just a few years ago. He aims to keep progressing and learning and his next goal is to go to university. He looks back fondly on his time at Fircroft and often recommends it to the people he now helps. He says, “It’s such a good environment for learning, the building and the grounds are so relaxing and the staff so welcoming. And of course, the food is awesome, I always tell people about the food!”