Richard I was working as a security guard and doing an HND in Engineering Design. But it was too much. I was working too hard and my marriage broke down. I had a nervous breakdown, dropped out of work and college, and moved to London.
I had a delivery driver job for 8 months – until I had a crash on my bike and couldn’t work anymore. For a while I drifted, first back to Wales, then to London again. I met a woman and we moved to Hull and in 2006 she became pregnant and we had a son together, Jack. However, the relationship broke up, he was taken into foster care and now lives with my aunt. My life was out of control and I ended up in London, sleeping in St Martin’s night shelter. I started selling The Big Issue and after four months I got a place in a hostel called Passage House and spent eight months there. The Big Issue Foundation helped me get a new passport to use as ID. Then I moved into St Martin’s House in Clapham and started a course called Business Action on Homelessness (Ready for Work) and, with the help of The Big Issue Foundation’s Vendor Support Fund, got a Net Book computer and started to learn how to use it.
I had a passion for poetry and started writing. My poems have been published in a book – Poems of a Welshman – I do hope you like them.
My inspiration is not only to help myself but others in my position, and I want to try and set up an advice other homeless and vulnerable people. Eventually, I would like to get a secure tenancy and publish my poetry and autobiography. When I’m settled, I’d like to make contact with my children. That will be the day when my life will begin again.
Richard took part in the London Ride of Champions on Saturday 1st September 2012 to raise money for The Big Issue Foundation.
“A big thank you to everyone who has helped to support me in my fundraising journey so far and it’d be great to have more people join me on the ride to help support the big issue foundation.”