My life before Transform just revolved around drink. I’ve been heavily drinking since I was 16. I lived with my partner, but when he died my drinking became even more excessive. I had a good relationship with my family but about five years ago we fell out and it was because of my drinking.
One day my friend rang me from nowhere and she said you’re coming to mine. I had quite a bit of money at that time but because I was drinking so much she took advantage of me and my situation. When she downsized there was no room for me so I ended up on the streets.
I met some really nice people, a person from the local church found me and really looked after me. She was an absolute diamond.
I ended up in hospital at one point because my legs weren’t working. They did lots of tests and there were so many things wrong with me that I made the decision – ‘that’s it I need to change.’
I was referred to the Transform night shelter. I loved it there. The staff were brilliant, the other residents were lovely. It was like a big family, sitting round the table and having a meal together.
Transform absolutely saved my life. I wouldn’t be alive without it.
One day the shelter manager said they had found me a place if I wanted it. A couple of days later Lucy came and got me and took me straight to the house. I settled in really quickly, and the rest is kind of history!
Lucy helped me a lot in the beginning, she was great. I hadn’t really experienced doing things like paperwork before because my life was just a haze, but I wanted to be in control and do things for myself. Without her help I wouldn’t have known what to do at all. She’s built up my confidence so much that I don’t ask her to do things anymore. It’s empowering to actually be able to think ‘yeah I can go and do that on my own!’
Having Lucy has been great. If you need her she’s there, if you’ve got a question, she goes out of her way to find the answer. I had an issue with a storage locker, I was about to lose some really important photos, but with Lucy’s help I was able to sort out the problem. Before I would have just ignored it and the stress would have probably made me have a drink, but I managed to get through it and I’m so pleased.
I’ve never felt normal in my entire life. But now I feel settled and really positive in all aspects. I’m even rebuilding my relationship with my family. I’m almost ready to move on to a place of my own but I don’t want to leave until I know I’m comfortable knowing I won’t be tempted if I went somewhere which serves alcohol on my own. Everything is just going to be good from now on and there’s going to be no more drinking! I’m still determined. Transform absolutely saved my life. I wouldn’t be alive without it.
Tina was very vulnerable in the beginning. She was in the early stages of recovery but was determined not to drink again.
I supported Tina to apply for benefits and access local services. Then we moved on to finding her some structure in the local community including volunteering at a charity shop which she loves. Tina’s confidence has grown since she came here. She has managed to turn her life around and has so much get up and go. Tina has also improved her physical and emotional wellbeing as well as working hard to remain abstinent.
Tina has taken every opportunity that’s been given to her and now if things don’t work out she doesn’t dwell on it; she moves on and learns from it.
I have really enjoyed working with Tina. It’s great to see her making positive changes.