Gardener wins Crisis Changing Lives accolade

A former homeless drug user has won the Crisis Changing Lives business award after turning his life around and becoming a landscape gardener with good prospects.

David Kelly beat more than 215 entries to win the award. "My selfesteem was low," he said of his years of drifting. "Everyone else seemed able to do the right thing and have a normal life whereas I never could."

The turning point came when he gained a Crisis Changing Lives national grant to help people like him get back into education or work or to buy tools.

Kelly, from Arundel, bought a strimmer, hedge-cutter and lawnmowers and paid for advertising to launch Cathedral Landscapes.

He now builds landscapes and puts up fencing for property-management firms, rented properties and private individuals and hopes to take on part-time help.

"The award has given me lots more confidence. I have a girlfriend and live in a lovely house. I feel positive about the future," he said.

ITV News economics editor Daisy McAndrew and Lord Freud, minister for welfare reform, presented the awards last week.

Crisis chief executive Leslie Morphy said: "We have awarded more than 1,614 grants, helping single homeless people gain skills and confidence. All of today's recipients have shown dedication in achieving their objectives and, in partnership with Barclays, we are proud to celebrate their achievements."

- For further details, see www.crisis.org.uk.


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