Member Case Studies

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Mentoring+Befriending Foundation

Sam B

I was a user of NPS's, particularly Spice - Pandora’s box and Exodus. I used with people I worked with at weekends but eventually I used every day. This lasted 18 months. I lost everything – my partner and child, my home, and my job. I suffered with hallucinations, psychotic thoughts, weight loss. I was afraid to answer the phone due to how it affected me mentally. I was no longer seeing my child because of what I had been doing, and he is my life. I made a decision to stop and was able to do this by shutting myself away for 4 days.

I was homeless and had to rely on the friends and family that had remained in my life for somewhere to stay. I was isolated and needed to meet people. I attempted to go to Bridge three times. On the first two occasions I struggled and could not do it. On the third I built up enough courage to do so. I’m glad I did.

I sought help with my housing situation by visiting the housing drop in. Julia helped me with this and made a referral to PHaSE Housing, supported housing for people with substance misuse issues, provided by Bridge. I was interviewed for this and was successful with my application. A month after my induction I was now housed through PHaSE and supported to manage my tenancy, provided help to set up my utilities, bills etc.

Most importantly I now had somewhere for my son to visit and to stay.

I had been keeping myself busy at Bridge, trying new activities, meeting new people. They were not as scary as I thought they would be, and it was comforting to be around people who had similar experiences with addiction that I did, and were trying to get themselves clean/sober. It was good to speak with people and to talk freely without feeling judged. I particularly enjoyed using the gym, football and acupuncture (something I did not think I would!)

I applied to become a volunteer at Bridge. Initially just a couple of hours a week, eventually leading to full – time. I like to help others and felt like I wanted to give back to Bridge for all the help I have received from them. I attended the mentoring course held at Bridge, which I enjoyed. I would speak with members, particularly those just starting at Bridge, as I remember how difficult it can be to start this journey. I volunteered at the ETE sessions (Education, Training and Employment) and enjoyed helping people looking into courses, searching for employment etc. Through this I was able to refer a number of members to a service who provide courses to people, which made me feel good. A role within their company came available recently, which I applied for and was successful for, starting a full- time job.

7 months after my induction, I am still clean.

I have a fantastic relationship with my son and see him regularly.

I have a home.

I have full- time employment.

I have built good, supportive relationships, and those with family members have improved as they have seen my progress.

I have responsibilities.

I feel trusted.

I am contributing to society.

I feel like a better person.

There is hope for people like me.

25th April 2018

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