Life Stories

Keith’s Story

Keith, 59, has turned his life around. From a life of homelessness, crime and violence, he is now using his experiences to advise and shape how Manchester City Council works to tackle homelessness. “I grew up surrounded by violence and…

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Anthony

Anthony, 52, had spent his youth in and out of prison, sleeping rough and using drugs. He hadn’t seen his daughter since she was a baby. But this year he is looking forward to spending Christmas in his own home…

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James

James was made aware of The Freedom Project, our work readiness and life skills programme, by his GP. Struggling with mental health issues, James found Mustard Tree to be a non-judgemental environment that gave him the space to start to…

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Rozina

Rozina became aware of The Freedom Project, our life skills and employability programme, when she visited Mustard Tree’s retail hub in Ancoats. Missing the routine that a job provides and prone to worrying about her immigration status, Rozina joined our…

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Leslie

Leslie was referred to the Freedom Project, our work readiness and life skills programme by his Jobcentre. Having never had a paying job, Leslie was somewhat overwhelmed at first, but with the support of the Mustard Tree team, he discovered…

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Matt

I joined the Freedom Project to improve my self confidence and try to overcome my gambling addiction. I was experiencing depression and I had promised my children that I would stop. I hoped the Freedom Project would give me something…

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Rob

I was referred to Mustard Tree by my Job Centre adviser to help me gain experience for the work place. Before starting on the Freedom Project I spent most days cooped up in the house and would often drink heavily….

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Billy

Billy joined StandFirm through The My Future programme coordinated by Manchester City Council and Manchester College whereby it gives people the chance to complete a 4-week pre-employment training course and a 13-week paid work experience that aims to provide skills, an up…

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Adam

I was a software developer who was confident and active. I was quite social and loved hiking for example. However several years ago I started getting Panic Attacks, which got worse to the extent that I also became Agoraphobic. I…

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Jayne

​I d​idn’t know about Mustard Tree until I was referred by the job centre. Starting at Mustard Tree felt like the first time I had ventured outside my home and neighbourhood for years. I’d been out of work for over…

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