Eddie (name changed to protect identity) is a lifelong Richmond borough resident, having lived in Teddington all his life. He experienced homelessness himself when he was young and struggled with drinking problems for 32 years particularly after being made redundant from his job as a senior operations clerk for a courier company 3 years ago.
It was shortly after this that Eddie decided to stop drinking and find a more fulfilling career having been inspired by the people who helped him with his own recovery. He signed up for a college course in Health and Social Care and started looking into volunteering roles in order to gain relevant experience.
An opportunity came up to volunteer as a receptionist for SPEAR at our main hostel, Penny Wade House, which really appealed particularly given Eddie’s relevant past experience and his connection to the local area. The role involves much more than just general reception duties as he has lots of dealings with residents and provides individual support to them. Eddie also does an outreach shift on a weekly basis. He describes loving his work with SPEAR “with a passion”.
He aims to continue with his training and is currently waiting for an opportunity to come up to work as a support worker ideally for SPEAR but in the homelessness sector generally if not. Long term he would like to go to university and is interested in pursuing a career in counselling and feels that his experience at SPEAR has given him both the experience and confidence he needed to pursue these ambitions and overcome his past difficulties.