“I survived on my wits and didn’t know where to turn. Maybe I was too proud but I really was too scared to ask anyone for help”

Sometimes it is hard to break the cycle of despair – a vicious circle of having to prove yourself against all the odds.

Roger Bakewell certainly felt ‘down and out’ when he lost his job, his home and his relationship. Living in a tent and a frequent victim of verbal and physical abuse he soon found he was also losing his self-respect. He needed help … and he knew it.

As a painter and decorator he had always found work easy to come by in the past and was proud of his work ethic and reputation. All that vanished when his life fell apart and he was reduced to living on the streets and literally begging to survive.

‘I survived on my wits and didn’t know where to turn. Maybe I was too proud but I really was too scared to ask anyone for help.’

Roger heard about the Brownhills-based ‘Work Stations in Walsall’ – a Bridges project delivered by Manor Farm Community Association.

‘I met Terri Fryer who went the extra mile to make sure I got support in getting my life back on track. I attend the employability sessions there and through the goodwill of her colleagues I now have warm clothes and space in a hostel where I can sleep at night. I’m positive about the future at long last. Now I feel I have the support to break the vicious circle of despair.’