“If I hadn't come to HARP I would be dead.” - Andrew's Story


A photo of Mark painting a wall at a HARP property

Andrew was a hard-working and successful businessman. His company turned over more than £1m for 17 consecutive years, employing over 200 people. He had multiple business premises, a lavish country estate, a caravan in Southend and a five-bed villa in Portugal. Riding high, Andrew could not have predicted what would come next. After losing a major business contract, Andrew’s life began to spiral out of control, with a series of devastating blows in a short time. ​ ”First, my mother had a stroke that left her paralysed. Then, my best friend and colleague committed suicide. My health began to deteriorate, and I had to spend a lot of time at the doctors with diabetes, high cholesterol, and liver and heart problems. And then, my wife was diagnosed with cancer.

"I think that was the final straw. I had just had enough of everything. I had always been able to control everything with money, but I couldn't help my wife."

Andrew used alcohol and drugs as a mechanism for coping with the feeling of helplessness and guilt that he wasn't able to cure his wife’s cancer.

"You know when people say they just closed the door and walked out? Well, that's exactly what I did."

Andrew went to his caravan in Southend to take a break from it all and never went back to work again. The bills and debts came rolling in until finally Andrew was forced to declare bankruptcy.

Luckily Andrew had many good friends and managed to sofa surf for a number of years. Eventually, though, the goodwill ran out, and Andrew finally came to HARP.

“I was so scared to come to HARP I wasn’t sure what to expect."

"I thought that people would be really judgmental, but everyone at HARP was so selfless and nice.”


When Andrew first came to HARP he was housed at Heath House, our emergency accommodation, to get him off the streets. He then moved on to HARP’s supported accommodation.

Andrew has now settled in and found a passion for gardening. He has started growing herbs and spices that he uses in his kitchen.

He's currently receiving treatment for depression and is working with his Key Worker, Duncan, to rebuild relationships affected by his previous decision making.

“I have now realised how important getting help for depression and mental illness really is. I am the happiest I have been for a really long time. It feels like I can start again.”

"I am just completely grateful for how helpful and supportive everyone I have spoken to at HARP has been."

"I’m so grateful to HARP for their help."


"As Andrew looks to the future and starts placing the building blocks to rebuild his life, he would like people out there to know that there is help if you want it.

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, HARP is non-judgmental and will help you.”

Read more real-life stories here.

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