Mark was born in Ireland in the early 70s and had a very difficult upbringing, suffering years of emotional, physical and sexual abuse.

He drank alcohol for the first time aged 8 and, from then on, it was a prominent fixture in his life, helping him to escape from the reality of his situation.

Mark progressed onto drugs in his early teens using LSD, MDMA and amphetamine until he was introduced to heroin at 18. When Mark moved to the UK at 25, he discovered crack cocaine.

Mark had fathered six children, five of which he has lost to Social Services, adoption and death. Mark served nine prison sentences, both in the UK and Ireland, from drug dealing to street robbery. His health has suffered – he has had four strokes and open heart surgery.

Aged 38, Mark took help from local services in Manchester and eventually came to ACORN Recovery Projects four months later.

Mark completed the five month rehabilitation programme and currently volunteers with ACORN, Shelter, and Emerging Horizons, helping others suffering with addiction.

Today, Mark is eight months clean and sober and in better health, with some of his family back in his life. He is working towards gaining custody of his two sons.