Phil Pearce - Director
Hayden Lee Jessop
I was brought in a housing estate in Edinburgh. I had to adapt to the situation I was in so fell in with a crowd who were up to no good. It was like another family but I felt I wasn’t judged for the things I’d done wrong. I started sniffing glue and then progressed to harder drugs until I found one I thought was helping me deal with me and my anxiety. I got into a lot of trouble and found myself in police stations and then prison. I moved to Halifax when I was 22 because I thought Edinburgh was a bad place (it wasn’t the place, it was me!). I got into the same kind of trouble and ended up in Armley prison with drug related offences. I’ve not been back in prison for many years but still sold and took drugs most of my life. I have 2 beautiful girls and my partner has put up with my behaviour for 26 years. We are very strong today and talk about any issues we have and that in itself is a miracle because I always blamed everyone else for the carnage I caused. Today I work in a service that provides a place to live and a daily program for people with addiction problems, mental health and offenders . We encourage and support men who would like to improve their lives. I love my job as it can be so rewarding and to see people’s lives change in front of you is amazing. When I was in treatment back in 2014. I was always saying I’d love to speak to the younger generation to give some advice on how it was for me and if my experience can help one child look at themselves and be willing not to go down my path, I will be so happy. I hope my experience can come in helpful for the roll I have with Life Experience.
Background; Mother had a brain injury which meant she couldn’t care for me and my sister properly, my dad was removed for domestic violence when we were young and I turned to selling drugs for other people to feel like I belonged somewhere and could get out of what seemed like a hopeless situation at home.