Walking in the fullness of freedom

With us having just celebrated our 2015 Graduation, we thought it would be nice to give an update on one of last year’s graduates, Steve Smith.

A fantastic example of someone who has truly grasped his opportunity for change, Steve is now living life to the full in God.

Today, he is studying at college, working part-time – and engaged to be married!

Steve’s inspiration for his move-on plan from Sunnybrae came when he was working in the centre’s gardens, having been appointed Head Gardner during his programme.SS

Relishing his time in the greenhouse, he decided to pursue a career in horticulture and so made the move to Harrogate’s Horizon Life Training, which helps people who have already begun the journey of freedom from addiction onto the next stage of being restored into the community.

Based at Horizon – where he recently won the ‘2014 Student of the Year Award’ – Steve enrolled in a Level 2 RHS in Horticulture; an intensive two year course which covers a range of topics, including garden design, planning, maintenance and plant science. And, back at ‘school’, he is excelling in his studies, gaining invaluable knowledge and skills, which he hopes to utilise in his own gardening business in the future.

Steve Smith

As well as a career, Steve has found himself a wife – he is due to tie the knot with his fiancé Jen, who he met at Harrogate’s Hope Church, this September.

Steve is also now extremely close with his 9-year-old son, Connor; playing a major part in his boy’s upbringing.

It’s all a far cry from January 2013, when Steve walked through the Sunnybrae doors a paranoid mess.

Years of drug abuse had left him on antipsychotic and antidepressant medication. He would only leave his house if he absolutely had to (for more drink) and would sit on his own for weeks at a time, self-harming, with suicidal thoughts running through his mind.

Now, Steve is a transformed man and is quick to give all the glory to God: “God’s grace and timing are amazing. What he’s done with me in such a short space of time is incredible.

“I am loving church, loving college, loving family and just loving life!”