11 Jun 2019

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.


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.