More than 25 years ago I came to London from Manchester bringing a 10-year heroin addiction problem with me. I experienced my first London based detoxification from heroin in the Max Glatt detox unit. I did not stay clean that attempt – nor did I on several subsequent attempts, introducing cocaine to the mix. I would bounce in and out of prisons, hospitals, rehabs and detox units.
I switched addictions. I put down the drugs and picked up the bottle. When I left the hospital I did not pick up the drugs again – nor didI put down the bottle. I moved seamlessly from addiction to alcoholism. Now the consequences really did get worse.
In 2009 things changed. I spent my first year on an inner soul searching journey of self-discovery, contemplation, and debate. Here I journeyed from self-loathing to self-love
I volunteered for the Broadway 2010 where I took an NCFE in drug and alcohol
studies and their applications. Whilst with the Broadway I also took an NVQ level 2 in customer service and began co-facilitating Drink Watch an alcohol awareness group, with Dan.
In 2010 I volunteered for Look Ahead homeless Charity, where I achieved an NVQ level 3 in Information Advice and Guidance.
Between 2010 and 2011, I also volunteered for EACH, abstinence-based 12
week structured day program, where I facilitated peer-led support groups. I was awarded the merit of European Social Fund Adult learner of the year, 2011
Also in 2011, I gained full-time employment with CNWL NHS Trust working
as a peer support worker in the Max Glatt detox unit. I worked on the unit for three years supporting people through the detox process and facilitating groups.
In 2014 I was awarded the NHS ‘Annual Gem Award’ in the category of –
‘The person who has made the most significant difference to the service users experience in that year.’
2014 – 2016 I worked as a peer support worker at CDAS, an NHS community
drug and alcohol service. Since April 2016 I have been working as a peer support worker on an inpatient mental health treatment ward, at St Charles Hospital.
Love, Peace, and Blessings