In with the wrong crowd
Ziggy had a difficult journey before he came to Centrepoint - homelessness, drugs and crime. He’d been on a roller coaster ride of sleeping in unsafe places like bus shelters and falling in with a bad crowd, which led to run-ins with the police.
Ziggy moved to Bradford when he was just 19 - alone and without knowing anyone. He got a job and started renting a room after meeting some people, but these new friends led him down a dark road.
'It was a bad idea,' Ziggy said. 'I was a stupid kid then.
‘After leaving a bail hostel, before I came to Centrepoint, I would stay at the bus station. However long I could stay there, I would. But now I have a better understanding of life.'
It was Supported Housing Officer Sam Temple that helped Ziggy out of isolation and trouble and into college, training in a boxing gym, working as a volunteer and finally into a career he loves.
Sam said: ‘When I first met Ziggy, he had no friends or hobbies and had little confidence in his own abilities. He said to me "All I can get for work is maybe a job in a warehouse". I told him to raise his expectations and tell me what he wanted and I would help him to get there.’
Ziggy agrees. He said: ‘I’ve learned from Centrepoint that if you want to do something you can. They started practicing English with me. You can get the support from your key workers - if you need it you will get it.
‘Centrepoint helped me find my voluntary role, my work and my boxing training.’
He credits this understanding with his new job as a health trainer for the NHS - a job he got after a journey through Centrepoint services.
These days, Ziggy is using his experiences to help others with unhealthy lifestyles and mental health problems.
‘I work ten hours every week for NHS and I volunteer for drugs community,' he said. 'I want to be a drug and alcohol keyworker and have been volunteering for about a year.
‘My lifestyle was unhealthy and I decided to stop using substances and thought that my experiences from life could help people in their lives. It’s nice to have people help you and I thought I could use my knowledge like this.’
Ziggy has been living in Centrepoint's mid-stay accommodation and is now feeling confident enough to move on to living in a home of his own.