Our work doesn’t stop at the prison gates

The Oaks is our home that supports ex-offenders or those at risk of offending with a safe place to rebuild their lives, put down roots and grow. Jamie shares his story of how he came to The Oaks and the impact it’s had on his life…

I was born into a broken family and raised on a deprived council estate. At the age of 14 I lost my brother to a rare heart condition, my grandfather died from cancer, and my Dad lost his battle with depression and drug-induced mental health issues and took his own life. I started to take amphetamines and used drugs to escape the pain I was feeling.

After a few years trapped in a cycle of crime, drug use, homelessness and time in prison I felt that I couldn’t escape. I got to the point where I became severely depressed due to the substances I was taking. I had nothing to live for and wanted to kill myself. But it was here that God stepped in.

My prayers were answered as I was handed an application form for The Oaks

A friend had recently become a Christian and suggested that I go along to church with them. I instantly felt loved and like there was a hope for my future. After completing a 12-step recovery programme I accepted Christ into my life. I now had a sense of purpose, but knew that I couldn’t get fully better in the environment I was living in. So, I prayed for change. The following week my prayers were answered as I was handed an application form for The Oaks and my life changed forever.

Now, instead of turning to drugs and violence I turn to Christ to help deal with my struggles. There is no better place than The Oaks to learn how to become more like Christ. I’ve found a new family who love me and who I love in return. Together we continue to learn more about Jesus each and every day. I am now genuinely happy and I want to use my life to do great things for God.


Want to find out more about The Oaks? Come along to the Oaks Open Day on Saturday 15 June. Book your place here. 

Places in The Oaks are available for people looking for a fresh start in life. If you know someone in your church who could benefit, email info@message.org.uk or call 0161 946 2300 to request an application form.