AT its peak, Andy Weir’s addiction had him taking “any pill, potion or powder” put in front of him.

The Possil man’s £350-a-week habit included drinking three bottles of Buckfast a day, along with dozens of Valium tablets and at least £20 worth of cannabis, cocaine and other substances.

The 36-year-old recovering alcoholic had a troubled childhood and spent time bouncing between children’s homes and relatives' flats before ending up in prison.

For Andy, the fact he can now sit and have a conversation with someone is a major achievement compared to his life just two years ago, and he is now determined to help others who are facing homelessness.

His decades of drug abuse and alcoholism left him with “virtually no social skills”, nowhere to live and a myriad of physical problems including war-time disease trench foot – a condition common in soldiers which developed due to having constantly wet and cold feet.

He explained: “It was fine to start with…out with the boys.

“When you’re young everyone does that. My pals were beginning o go their own way – girlfriends, motors, houses, jobs, weans, and I just kind of stayed in that wee bubble and didn’t move one.

“I shirked all responsibilities.

“My house had become uninhabitable, that’s what the housing people said. To me it wasn’t but I didn’t think I had a problem and I clearly did.

“It wasn’t a good life. I lost my house and I was skippering (sleeping rough) in closes.”

Andy’s life started to change when he was approached by charity volunteers in 2015 after he had just been told there was no homeless accommodation for him in the city.

Andy explained: “I describe it as the gift of desperation, that’s the only thing I had.

“I was going in circles for days and days.

“I would present myself and I was just given bus tokens, but I had nowhere to go.

“The bus tokens were just piling up and staff would say there’s nothing available, and would give me a sleeping bag.

“I was still drinking too, I couldn’t see a way out. It was then the Simon Community saw me in the Hamish Allen centre and asked me a bit about me. I just broke down.

“The volunteers took me to a detox centre which happened to have a bed available that night.

“I know now that’s very rare.”

When Andy went to detox in 2015, he was malnourished, underweight and had only the clothes on his back as possessions. He had previously secured a flat but said it had becoming “uninhabitable” due to neglect, his alcoholism had overtaken any other priorities in his life.

Having gone through the agonising detox, Andy transferred to a rehab centre for a year and began working with the Glasgow Homelessness Network which is when everything started to really change in his life.

He started with the Keys to Learn project - a scheme set up to equip homeless people with the skills they need to move in with their lives, better themselves and escape the poverty trap.

The project has recently received a share of a £ £678,018 cash boost from the Big Lottery Fund, awarded to the GNH for their 4-front learning project, of which it is a part.

If it wasn’t for the life-changing scheme, Andy said, he wouldn’t be where he is today.

He is now 12 months sober and is preparing to start studying at college in September towards a qualification in social work.

And for the first time he has a stable place to call home in leafy Broomhill.

The 36-year-old is determined to use his background and experience to help others.

He said: “My past is my best asset.

“Before starting Keys to Learn I couldn’t even use a computer. All of that just went past me because of my drinking. I wasn’t interested in anything else.

“I start college in September now and I’ve been studying part time with the same tutor through GHN for a while as well.

“She has seen me grow on my journey.

“The project has influenced me massively in my recovery.

“It gave me the drive to better my life, and it has given me a better insight in to homelessness.

“I’ve experienced the worst – children’s homes, rehabs and everything in between but it has helped with my confidence and self-esteem and given me the skills to do well.”

Pauline McColgan, project coordinator at GHN, said Andy is just one example of the dozens of people who have come through their doors and transformed their lives.

She explained: “Homelessness is quite often the end of the problem.

“It’s the end stage after a whole variety of different issues, and we want to try and help people rebuild their lives,

“Keys to Learn helps with that.

“It’s (showing people) how to budget, knowing how to cook, knowing how to get with housing, and having the confidence to ask for that help.

“In the last year between October 2015 and 16, 16 we’ve worked with about 143 people who are at risk of homelessness or who have experienced homelessness including with the keys to learn project and we hope to help many more.”