Alistair Gray: Turning things around

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Saints Foundation work with The Society of St James to deliver it’s Saints4Sport programme, which works with adults who have faced some of life’s biggest challenges, including homelessness, mental health issues or substance and alcohol misuse.

Working with over 400 participants a year, the programme helps bring routine and structure back into the lives of countless people through sporting activities and the chance to obtain accredited outcomes.

One participant who has reaped the full rewards of Saints4Sport is Alistair Gray, 51, who after being filmed as a case study in last year’s Saints Together campaign has seen his life change completely.

“Since being filmed last year I still do the gym sessions with Saints Foundation,” Alistair said. “I miss doing all the extra activities I used to do, but they have all been replaced with things that are extremely positive.”

Alistair spent most of his adult life battling alcohol addiction, and after his sister died of cancer at a young age his life spiraled out of control.

His engagement with Saints Foundation was born from a desire to better his own life, and once he began engaging in sessions, he couldn’t stop.

“I started on an educational programme with Saints4Sport, then before I knew it I’d started going to the gym, started boxing lessons, cycling classes, and it was all through Saints Foundation.”

Now, one year on, his life has seen countless positive changes.

“I have loads of confidence now, and I actually believe in myself. Saints4Sport has had a massive positive impact on my social skills.”

“I also have a child on the way, which is huge for me, and something I never thought would happen to me.”

“My outlook on life is much better than a few years ago – things that were once dreams are now coming true.”

“My current job is in the national probation service as a peer mentor, and now I’m able to promote the amazing work of Saints Foundation and Saints4Sport through my job.”

“I feel like I’m part of the Southampton Football Club team, going through these programmes has given me a sense of belonging which I’m proud of.”

“I’m going to continue with the work I’m doing, and the activities I do with Saints Foundation, and I’ll go into full-time employment so I can support my family – which is something I never thought I would be saying!”

If you would like to know more about our Saints4Sport programme, please contact Lisa Latona at llatona@saintsfc.co.uk, or call 02380 727726.

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