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Hello, my name is Irf. I am a 40-year-old engaged to be married. Last March, my old landlord approached me with, at the time, terrible news. Little did I know that day that it would alter the course of my life completely. My landlord sheepishly explained to me that he had family members arriving from Turkey and had to give me the extended notice of 6 weeks to vacate my room.

After receiving the news, I was shocked, as I was having other, namely financial, difficulties. What will I do? How on earth am I going to be able to come up with a deposit? Just the thought made sleeping impossible. I had zero savings and would need over 2500 pounds to get a new place, so this forced my fiance and me to look and consider all opportunities available to generate some additional, much-needed cash.

A few days later, my fiance excitedly called with the good news that she had found an opportunity at a group called From Rehab to Life, a foundation based in London. To say I was skeptical is an understatement, yet I started to do my due diligence.

The company itself is a charity that deals with Mental health, addiction, and rehabilitation. The advert said commission paid daily, flexible hours, something I have always been uneasy about. However, my fiance had previous experience as a fundraiser, so she encouraged me to contact them. I was able to get an appointment the following week. I remained skeptical but had nothing to lose other than a bit of time.

Two weeks later, and following some negotiations and a day’s training, I was out fundraising. Simply put, this hard me holding a bucket for donations, a card reader, and a HIGH-Visibility vest. I was then tasked with approaching members of the public on any given site. One of these sites was a BOOTS in Enfield. Once I set up shop, I would start asking the public for a donation. Easy enough.

So on my second day, I woke up, got ready, and headed to my site with a newfound enthusiasm after being proved wrong; I had an opportunity to prove myself and get my fiance and me out of the dumps.

Around midday on day two, I watched a young lady go in and out to the Pharmacy several times. Having witnessed this, I became curious and asked the girl if she would like to donate something to the charity.

After carefully inspecting the bucket, she asked me how much I wanted to go home!

She then proceeded to pull £20 notes from her purse, counted five to make a princely sum of £100, and tried to put it in my hand.

“No, thank you,” I replied, quite shocked, “if you want to make a donation, you can put the money directly into the bucket, thanks.”

Being quite curious about her several visits, I took the opportunity and said, “may I ask what you’ve been buying as you’ve been in and out several times.”

Well, what can I say? One hour and a box of tissues later, the young lady had finished explaining that she was addicted to Codeine and was buying Paracetamol & Codeine in addition to Ibuprofen & Codeine and taking boxes of them daily. I quietly explained to her that she was probably close to permanently damaging her liver as Paracetamol is very hepatotoxic. This kind of liver damage can be fatal and is irreversible. I couldn’t believe how much she had already gotten away with!

I wanted to show her that I meant well. So, hence, I explained my past in finer detail than I am doing here. Yet with the broad-strokes of having a similar battle with addiction and the many options available to her, including being prescribed ‘clean’ opiates from a local organisation that deals with substance misuse.

We exchanged numbers in case she needed any additional support. Several months later, and oblivious to our previous encounter, I received a message from someone I didn’t recognise from the saved number in my phonebook. However, it was her.

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The fundraising article...yes, it happened through fundraising, but maybe heaven or karma put this chain of events into place...losing her home is terrifying but doing something positive lead to another MASSIVELY not just positive action but a life saving action - you REACHED out and asked what's wrong? How many people these days actually ask are you ok? What's wrong? And taking the time to listen! If more of us did this, many issues could be solved! Well done! I hope you got your new home. Made my day too!

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