My name is Paul and I'm originally from Hertfordshire. We had quite a comfortable upbringing and good childhood. My wife and I moved to Haverhill in August 2011 through a council exchange. Throughout my life I've always worked but for the last 4 years I had been unable to get a job. I was depressed, trying to support my wife and not having any money, I was struggling to cope.
“I was feeling pretty hopeless, it seemed like everyone was against me and I couldn't see any way out”
We had been struggling with an old cooker at home, it had to be propped up on bricks and following an accident, we had to do something about it. About this time I came across REACH (Resource Centre). I called in and straight away I was made to feel welcome. I got help through one of their projects ‘ACTS 435’. I was so grateful that I offered to help out as a volunteer on Furniture Bank. It was so good being involved with such a great bunch of people. Although it was hard work carrying some of the furniture up stairs, I loved every minute of being part of the team. I also found that I wasn't alone in my struggles and gradually I started to feel much better about myself. I was able to help others in restoring their dignity, like mine had been!
“Volunteering at REACH twice a week gave me something to look forward to”
I can’t believe how much my life has changed around; I hadn't worked in 4 years-now I have a full time job and my future is so much brighter. Being involved with REACH has really improved my confidence, it’s like I've found a whole new family and re-discovered the old Paul!