Alan lives at Brighton and Hove Foyer, which provides accommodation and support for vulnerable young people. He has been taking part in the Get on Track for Wellbeing programme, run in partnership between Sanctuary Supported Living and the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, this is his story.

I was living in the Foyer at Brighton when I joined the programme. I wasn’t really doing a lot with my life, I was feeling depressed and getting on to Get on Track helped me sort that out. I really want to better my life and getting back on track is something that I wanted to do.

Before the first session I was pretty nervous but after meeting Hannah, within ten minutes or so she’d put everyone at ease and we just cracked on with team building games and getting to know everyone. One of the games we played was called Zombie where we all had to work together as a team to try and beat Hannah who was our athlete mentor. I’m not sure if we ever won, but it was a good way to learn about working together…

Before the programme started, I wasn’t doing any physical activity, I’m not the most athletic person! Throughout the programme though I lost a bit of weight which was good, Hannah got us doing push ups, sit ups, star jumps, things like that. It killed me sometimes especially as I’m not a morning person but what it did do, it made me more focussed for other bits of the programme.

It’s been great working with Hannah, she’s a great mentor and leader. I wouldn’t have asked for anyone else to work with, I don’t think anyone could have done a better job. Just like in her boxing career where she was determined to do well, she was determined here to help us succeed.

Over the last few months I’ve learned to focus a lot more and work better with other people. In particular I remember her coaching me on the beach in Brighton ahead of an interview I had and she worked with me until I felt confident I’d got everything right.

Boxer Hannah Beharry, who mentored Alan as part of the Get on Track for Wellbeing said:

When I first met Alan I remember him saying to me he was very committed and he will give 100% at all times. At the start of the programme he wasn’t giving 100%, he was turning up late and wasn’t taking the programme seriously.  After a one-to-one midway through the programme he changed his whole perspective in the way he approached the programme and also his own life. He was able to do this massive turnaround and he is now actively looking for work. He ran the social action project by himself which helped him to understand he can become a coach and he is very optimistic for the future ahead.

Local Service Manager, Stephanie Smith, added:

Hannah has really motivated the young people living at Brighton and Hove Foyer. Alan has so much more energy and enthusiasm for life, he’s going to be a real success if he can keep his focus.

Now the programme is coming to an end, I’m applying for a lot more jobs so I can get on and get my life moving forward. Longer term I want to work in security, I need to get my SIA licence so I can do that. I’m also a lot more active than I was a few months ago. I used to just sit in my room a lot but now I make sure I get out and about, especially at the weekends.

I’d really recommend this programme to other people. It’s been a really good life experience and it’s good to work with someone like Hannah. I didn’t think I was going to learn as much as I did, but I learned loads over the last few months.

Alan attended the Get on Track for Wellbeing programme delivered in partnership with Sanctuary Supported Living in Brighton in 2021 as part of a partnership delivering five programmes in locations across the country.