After several years of homelessness, Mary has moved into her very own flat in Banbury. In addition to volunteering at Turning Point, a rehabilitation charity, she is now working part-time for Greater Change.
"I am 4 years into recovery now. Before I launched my campaign with Greater Change, I was living with an ex-partner. Due to our breakup, I had to leave the property, but I had nowhere to stay. The housing situation also held me back from studying for the degree I want to complete next year, which will allow me to become a full-time support worker.
I am so happy now and overly grateful for the sponsors who helped me get my little loft flat, and I hope they can help others too.
This has changed my life more than you’ll ever know.
THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART! " - Mary B Parsons
Hi, I’m Mary. I’m 48 years old and I've suffered with addiction issues for 35 years – these issues came about and persisted because I would do anything and everything to help me forget childhood trauma issues. In 2014, after nearly losing my leg to addiction, I realised I needed to confront my problems. I completed a community rehabilitation programme and I’ve never looked back since.
Since my rehabilitation programme I’ve done a lot of voluntary work with Turning Point (a recovery charity in Oxford), after my recovery I completed their peer mentor programme. Now I help people on a voluntary basis 3 days a week who are in the position I was in when I was an addict. Soon this experience will give me the qualification I need to become a full time support worker.
I need your help because I’m currently living with an ex partner. I was with them for 21 years but the relationship has broken down so I have to vacate the property. I’ve been homeless before and have no one I can fall back on in terms of housing. I have no savings and have to vacate very soon so I have no chance of saving for a deposit or anything to move somewhere else. Therefore, without financial support I’m going to be homeless again.
With financial support I’ll be able to get into housing and my employment seekers allowance will make sustaining the tenancy possible. I’ll be able to complete the peer mentoring plan and become a full time, paid support worker which is a real dream in my life. It is something I’ve been working towards for 4 years, ever since my recovery, I’m so close to achieving it. However, if I become homeless I’m worried I’ll be back to square one.
“Mary is a strong candidate for Greater Change because in the last 4 years she has put so much work into turning her life around. From being selfish, self-centred and an addict, Mary is now a kind, generous and gentle person who is always on hand to offer support and guidance to people in the position she was formerly in. If Mary was to gain funding from Greater Change it will be a platform to spring forward onto the next stage of her recovery/life which is gaining full-time support work and being happy and independent.
There is a high concern that if Mary ends up on the streets she will resort to type as she will be mixing with users and drinkers. Therefore, it is imperative that after the hard work she has put in over the years to become abstinent that she finds suitable housing to maintain her recovery and her life.”- Mary's Support Worker