06 March 2024

Breaking the cycle and unlocking potential

A man wearing a blue zip-up sweatshirt with "cornwall" embroidered on it is standing in a garden with trees, flowers, and a bench in the background.
The IPS team has helped me break the cycle.

Dylan, 45, Cornwall

Dylan's story

Where did it all start?

“I started getting in trouble with the police when I was 14. Since then, I’ve been in and out of prison 15 times. I was also using drugs - it started with amphetamines, and then I started taking heroin when I got older."

What support did you seek?

“I knew I needed some help. I made contact with WithYou and they helped me really quickly - they got me onto a buprenorphine script and put me in touch with their IPS team. Vicki, from the IPS team, talks to potential employers to see if they’d be willing to bring on a new employee through the IPS service. She helped me to get a coat and some work boots so that I could do some casual work while I found something more permanent."

“One day, Vicki called me to tell me about a vacancy for a Lived Experience Support Worker and asked if I was interested in applying. I said I was, and she helped me to fill out an application form and prepare for my interview."

“I’ve been working alongside Cornwall Council for a year now. My role involves using my lived experience to support people with a similar background to mine - I’m really enjoying it. I also recently went with Vicki to HMP Exeter Prison and I spoke to some of the prisoners about what the IPS service is and how it could help them after they finish their sentence." 

What is life like now? 

“Life is so much better now. When I was in and out of prison, even though I was trying to get help, I was stuck on benefits because I couldn’t find anyone who would employ me. So I’d go out and deal drugs because it was the only way I could make enough money to survive. But now I have a job - I don’t need to go out and sell drugs, and nor do I want to. I also now have a relationship with my dad, and my son actually lives with me, which is really fantastic.

“If I hadn’t met Vicki and the IPS team, I’d still be going round in circles. The IPS team has helped me break the cycle. They’ve filled the gap. They find ways around the barriers so that people like me can get a chance in life. I am so grateful to Vicki and the team, and when I think about it, I can’t put my thanks into words.”

About our IPS service

Access to the right job, with the right support, plays a key role in drug and alcohol recovery. In Cornwall, during 2022-23, our IPS service supported 185 clients. Of these, 45 individuals have already moved into paid work. 

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) offers intensive, individually tailored support to help people choose and find the right job, with ongoing support for the employer and employee to ensure the person keeps their job.

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