A FORMER drug addict who turned his life around has landed a job at the rehabilitation centre he used to attend.

Stuart Sinnot, from Widnes, is set to take on a position as engagement recovery coordinator at Halton Integrated Recovery Services.

The recovery champion struggled with drug addiction since he was aged just eight and left school with no qualifications.

But his new full-time role will see him working front-of-house to answer telephone calls from people who find themselves in the same position he was once in himself, offering assessment and treatment.

Stuart began his recovery in 2017 at Change Grow Live in Halton, where he later volunteered and completed a health and social care course with training provider Realise and the help of assessor Ann-Marie Edwards.

He said: “When I was at school I found it difficult to communicate and this continued as I grew up and became particularly difficult when I had to take exams and find a job.

“For 30 years I avoided learning, however I’m happy that I decided to do this course because Ann-Marie took the time to understand me and really supported my learning needs.

“She was also able to do things such as send me questions ahead of assessments and give me time to read and research what I wanted to say.

“I was then able to go on Zoom and verbally give my answers as this is how I felt most comfortable.

“Ann-Marie was caring and patient and taught me not to hide through fear of getting things wrong.

“The whole team at Realise went above and beyond to do everything they could to make my life as easy as possible and make sure I passed.

“I truly believe that without her help I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this qualification.

“My experiences have put me in a very good position to be able to assess these individuals because everyone’s situation is different – I understand that most people just want someone to talk to and know they can offload any issues without being judged.”

Ann-Marie instantly knew that Stuart had potential from their first meeting four years ago.

She added: “When I first met Stuart, I knew straight away that with a little bit of help and support he’d have so much to offer an employer.

“Initially he was very reluctant to open up but that’s because he wasn’t a confident communicator, so we had to find alternative ways to get him out of his shell.

“Just because one way might work for most people doesn’t make that the right way for everyone.

“Stuart really struggled with an inferiority complex and it was really rewarding to see him grow once he realised what he could achieve.

“We still stay in regular contact and I take a keen interest in what he gets up to, because I believe Stuart is the perfect example that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.”