Member Case Study

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Mentoring+Befriending Foundation

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Member Case Study Two

I was referred to Bridge by a local homeless charity. I was scared and anxious but I knew I had to address my alcohol use. I knew I was struggling just to get motivation and to get to appointments and at times I didn't.

I attended for my induction. The staff and volunteers were so welcoming. There was so much on offer at Bridge. One of the services I knew I needed, was to be able to speak about my issues to someone. I was told about the mentoring service that Bridge has. At this point I knew very little about mentoring. The recovery champion that inducted was very knowledgeable about the mentoring service. After the induction she showed me the Peer Mentoring Page on the Bridge Website which gave me an overview of how mentoring works. We downloaded the mentoring service's aims and objectives which was really helpful in giving me an idea of what to expect from the service. I was particularly interested the five ways to wellbeing, which I had never heard of before. The recovery champion explained that if I booked a one to one session then we could consider mentoring and then she could refer me to the mentoring service. By this time I was really interested and so booked the session.

I continued to see the recovery champion until I was given a mentor and I attended the first couple of meetings but stopped coming. I had relapsed and was worried about what people would think. My mentor contacted me and encouraged me to come back in. We arranged another meeting and I made sure I attended. We spoke about what had happened and I realised that I was not being judged and that my mentor wanted to be able to support me. I felt at ease discussing my issues with her. I think knowing that someone was there to talk to, particularly at the hardest points in my recovery, made me more determined to attend. We arranged to meet weekly and I made sure I would attend. Coming to these sessions really gave me a boost.

Prior to coming to Bridge, I never wanted to attend any groups. My mentor suggested we go to women's group to see if it could help me. I was really nervous about attending but my mentor agreed to go with me. We attended together. I was so pleased that I managed to attend and it boosted my confidence. We continued to attend together for a few weeks until I felt comfortable going alone. I now really enjoy attending it and am able to attend it on my own (something I never would've thought I could do!) and have made good, supportive friendships from this.

I regularly attend Bridge now. I use other services they have on offer, and have taken part in some of the fun days they do to raise money such as Macmillan.

I am so glad I was introduced to Bridge and to my mentor. I have remained abstinent for 18 months now and still maintain contact with her. She has been an important part of my recovery journey, and I am grateful for all her support.

Bridge Substance Misuse Programme Ltd is a Social Enterprise, company registered number 06221493. Registered office 63c Gold Street, Northampton, NN1 1RA.