“Moving into Speke House has been a godsend – if I had not been referred, my progress would have been stifled and I might not have been able to develop my relationship with my daughter.”
Budding artist Ellis, 32, served seven and half years in the Army in 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery. He didn’t complete any operational tours but was deployed across the UK.
In September 2021, he developed arthritis in his feet, which prevented him from working for 10 months and was then medically discharged.
Following this, he served time in prison in Colchester and lost his accommodation and felt at an all-time low. He knew he needed to think positively and look forward to the future with his 9-month-old daughter, so he applied for a college placement whilst in prison, which he successfully secured at St. Helen’s College.
His next challenge was to find somewhere to live and was referred to Speke House by the housing officer in Colchester. After an initial telephone interview, he was accepted and moved in a month later.
“I was referred to a handful of places, but Speke House felt like a natural progression for me and it provides all the tools I need to get on in life.”
Since he moved in, he has joined in with all the activities and attends all appointments. He even had the motivation to decorate his own flat thanks to accessing art resources provided by Launchpad and proudly displays his own artwork on the walls in his flat which he calls his ‘happy place’.
When he moved in, staff at Speke House supported him with accessing Universal Credit and all the benefits he was entitled to, and he was able to furnish his flat thanks to a grant from Liverpool City Council’s Citizens’ Support Fund.
He has also been signposted to various support groups including ‘Talk Liverpool’ and has registered for his housing needs.
“Launchpad has a good feeling about it. All staff are very approachable and extremely helpful and have helped me settle into my home. It’s given me a roof over my head and has helped me to concentrate on maintaining a relationship with my daughter.
“I just needed somewhere stable to live and Speke House gives me that. This time next year, I hope to be able to drive again and I’ll save up to buy my own car. I’m hoping to be accepted into Chester University and find accommodation near there and if I can get my degree in fine art, my long-term plan is to open my own tattoo studio, which is something I’m very passionate about.”