Fulfilling Lives in Islington and Camden

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Fulfilling Lives in Islington and Camden (FLIC) supports people facing multiple disadvantage relating to drug and alcohol use, homelessness, offending and mental ill health, to build more positive and fulfilling futures.

We work in partnership with statutory and voluntary agencies across both boroughs to improve services for people with multiple needs and drive systemic change, influencing how services are designed and delivered.

As A Street Cat Named Bob hits cinema screens, we have uncovered our very own ‘Bob and James’.

After leaving the army, Wayne found himself living on the streets. For thirty years he was trapped in a cycle of offending, heroin use and sleeping on the streets of London.

Two years ago, Wayne was referred to our Fulfilling Lives in Islington and Camden programme, funded by the Big Lottery Fund. Wayne’s key worker worked with him to overcome his heroin addiction, and moved him into his own flat in Tottenham.

Wayne had long dreamed of becoming a pet owner, but his mental health and addiction problems meant that he didn’t feel like he was able to look after a dog or a cat. But, almost a year after Wayne had moved into his new flat, a black and white Tom cat jumped through the bathroom window and refused to leave.

Wayne said: “When I first moved into my flat, all I could think about was getting a pet. I really wanted a companion, but I didn’t think I was ready to be a pet owner. When Baby jumped through my window, I was really worried about looking after him, but it’s been a revelation.

“I love coming home to find Baby curled up on my bed. Not only does he keep me company and make me happier, but now I have to budget buying him cat food every week – so he’s helping me with day to day life skills. He eats better than I do!”

Now, just like Bob and James, Wayne and Baby are inseparable. Baby has helped Wayne throughout his recovery, having a positive effect on his mental health and also helping him regain his confidence.

“Now I’m responsible for another life, it’s a huge incentive not to reoffend or start using again,” Wayne added. “I would hate for either Baby or myself to end up on our own again.”

A Street Cat Named Bob is out in cinemas now. Watch the trailer here.