The owner of a Worthing hair salon spent Halloween fundraising to give back to the charity he credits with helping him turn his life around.
For almost a year now, Daniel Lloyd Grant has run a successful business – DLG Hair Studio – which employs two members of staff in Worthing’s North Street.
But three years ago, Daniel was ‘basically homeless’ and struggling to hold down a job due to a decade of alcohol and drug abuse.
Despite not having a place to live, Daniel said that as a young single man, he was not considered a priority for council help.
His drinking was affecting his everyday life, but Daniel’s attempts to get sober were unsuccessful.
It was as he was going through this ‘darkest and hardest’ of times that he came across Turning Tides, formerly the Worthing Churches Homeless Project, and its recovery support programme.
Attending his first appointment, he said: “I was in the office shaking and sweating with the withdrawals, and they said we really want to help you.”
He was placed in supported accommodation in one of the charity’s recovery houses in Littlehampton.
Daniel’s anxiety meant he did not want to be placed in a big group setting, but at the six-bed recovery house he had his own space where he could focus on getting sober without having to worry about where he would sleep that night and dealing with bills.
His said it was this ‘stability’ that helped him the most.
“It just takes the weight off your shoulders and helps you get better,” he said. “It gives you a little breather.”
Staff at the charity were there to help him with everything from getting his driving license to counselling sessions.
Daniel’s challenge was learning to deal with life without using the ‘blanket’ of alcohol.
I was pretty much drunk for ten years,” he said. “I had no way of dealing with situations.
“I had to work out how to deal with everything sober.”
While he was at the residence, he also started a level three qualification in hairdressing, which he had done on and off ever since leaving school.
After a year at the recovery house, he was well enough to move on and move in with his partner.
Through his counselling sessions, he came to realise he wanted to open his own business, and soon DLG hair studio was born.
Daniel, now 30, said the business was going well.
“It’s demanding but it’s really good,” he said. “It’s something to keep you focused and get you up everyday, doing what you love.”
He now wants to support the ‘amazing’ charity by raising money whenever he can.
“If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be running this business now,” he said. “They helped me so much.”
To mark Halloween on Thursday, he dressed up as Edward Scissorhands and held a fundraising event at the salon which raised £237 for Turning Tides.
Daniel also wants to raise awareness of the charity and the help they can provide, and encourage anyone in a similar situation to him to seek help.
“I would recommend it to anyone to try the programme and seek support,” he said. “If I can do it, anyone can.”