Adam was a student on our PowerUP Liverpool programme at SSE North West.
This is his story…
This Is My Story Limited (TIMS) was born out of my experiences. I wanted to offer a programme of support that would help young people like me. It is a concept where young people get asked what they want, instead of told; they are listened to, instead of ignored, and they are connected with, instead of judged. We run holistic, skills based approach personal development programmes, as well as offering 1 – to 1 life coaching and mentoring.
From a young age I took and sold drugs. I got involved in crimes of all shapes and sizes, sometimes getting injured in the process. The day before my 22nd birthday, I was stabbed several times, hit with an axe twice and held at gunpoint. That was a typical Saturday night.
I took cocaine every day, I had severe mental health problems and it escalated until one day I was shot at, tortured and attempted to take my own life. I ended up on medication for psychosis, but it was a while before my PTSD was treated.
After that, I didn’t leave the house for 6 months. After 6 more months, I was 22 stone, but better at walking outside on my own for short periods of time. I slept most of the day and only woke up to eat; I also had really bad side effects from the medication.
As soon as I “had legs” I started drinking again, took more coke and had a seizure. My pancreas was inflamed and I lost a lot of weight – I went down to 18 stone in two weeks. My pancreas was not treated properly and so I struggle with spicy or fatty foods (but this keeps me slim).
I lost all the weight and then got help from the Linda McCartney centre. They give me an operation to remove extra growths on my chest and after all of that I took a second and asked “why?”
I started working on a programme and an approach that would help people like me. My dream is now a reality and, with the help of the people at SSE North West, I am making changes. So far, they have helped me get set up with Companies House and given me great opportunities to network and develop my constituency.
The Power UP programme has had a very positive impact on me personally and my work. I have had the opportunity to meet lots of positive, genuine people that are on the same adventure as I am. I have also been given some great advice and guidance by the SSE team, my mentor from the Lloyds Banking Group, as well as the guest speakers who have very kindly given up their time to come and speak to us. I have learnt some valuable lessons from witnesses. Examples include – “being my brand”, keeping my options open, not relying purely on funding, and the importance of saying “thank you”. It is a great group of skilled people, filled with ideas and creativity, who I have already learned a lot from.
Due to my disabilities/learning style, I need extra help to organise myself. The people at SSE have given me extra lessons, kept in touch via email, and helped me concentrate during group sessions. I don’t think this help was exclusive to me, I think they would help anyone in this way, but they have adapted to my needs as an individual and it is really appreciated