We met up with Ian recently to find out what he had to say about Providence Row's learning and training activities.
"I was evicted from my last property and was rough sleeping near the Tower of London for over a year.
St Mungo [the local street outreach team] picked me up and took me to a night shelter and the night shelter brought me to Providence Row. I moved into a hostel five days later.
I wanted to keep busy. I didn’t want to sit in my room all day twiddling my thumbs, so I started going to English, Massage, Acupuncture, Men’s Group and Interactive Addiction.
Acupuncture helps me with my stress and the same with massage. I can relax. The interactive addiction group allows me to speak about my experience of addiction to alcohol. I can steer the others is the right direction too. English is good for me too.
I left school without any qualifications and now I am gaining qualifications which I can use to help my grandkids. It’s given me my confidence back from the days when I was sleeping on the street. Other people at my hostel have said how well I have been doing in such a short time.
Also, I am a peer buddy and safe guarding officer at my hostel.
More recently, I have started training in Providence Row’s kitchen three days a week, and also have just started the IT class
I would say to someone thinking about using Providence Row’s service - go to one of the groups and sit and listen to other people’s experience. If you like it, you can go back the next week, and if you don’t, try something else!"
We would like to say a huge thank you to Ian for taking part in this interview.