Celebrating achievements at homelessness awards night

We recently joined forces with a number of hostel providers to host the borough’s second Camden Adult Pathway Awards evening.

The awards celebrated the achievements of adults dealing with homelessness who get support from us and our partners.

More than 200 people attended the event, where five people were presented with awards by Amy Winehouse’s father, Mitch.

Presenting the awards, Mitch said: “These award winners have all managed to turn their lives around and everyone can be rightly proud of their efforts. They are an inspiration to others who are just starting out on their recovery journey.”

Journey to living independently

The five awards were presented to hostel residents in Camden who have achieved significant progress in their recovery journey to independent living. Among these was Arlene de Silva, who after overcoming drug and health issues, is almost ready to move out of a hostel into independent, permanent accommodation.

Arlene said:

“I had a breakdown and was taking drugs just to escape all the bad things going on. Then a year ago someone close to me died from illness caused by substance misuse and I realised I didn’t want that to happen to me. I stopped misusing substances. Now I feel like a person again.

“I’ve signed up to a course in working with people who are substance misusers. I’m planning to get back into work and I’m looking to move into a flat of my own soon. I want to be able to show my family what I’ve achieved. I’m keen that people know how I’ve turned my life around and I would say to anyone in the situation I was in, ‘Don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to accept help.’”

Promoting independence

The adult pathway, which was the first of its kind, was launched in 2007. It enables people who live in hostels to overcome issues that may have led to them being homeless and living in a hostel and to move on to independent living.

Michelle Lark, another award winner said:

“I’ve come a long way. I was a substance misuser and I stopped that five years ago. I still had a lot of problems, but I’ve turned my life around. Things are much better for me now. I’m looking for a flat, and I’m going to the gym and keeping myself healthy.”

A wide group of partner organisations support us in providing the adult pathway, including: Arlington, Hestia, Irish Centre Housing, SHP, St Mungos and the Salvation Army.

More information

Read more about the hostels pathway here.