Ian’s Story

Giving up cocaine was hard enough to imagine but I thought I’ve have more chance of dating Beyoncé than living without cannabis. I try not to think too much about the horrible things I’ve done and the people I’ve hurt along the way. Let’s just say that I was a nasty piece of work.

I’d always been mum’s favourite but even she couldn’t cope with me anymore. I know that telling me to leave home was the hardest thing she’s ever done, but she had no choice, I was messing up everyone’s life and she had to stop putting me first.

The more sofas I slept on the more drugs I used until my mate overdosed and didn’t recover. Instead of seeking out another mate’s sofa I went to Blenheim.

That was 8 months ago.

Blenheim were patient with me and then I was ready and I talked and listened and didn’t stop. You wouldn’t recognise me now, I’ve got a place at Uni and me and mum are back on track. I’m just waiting for that call from Beyoncé.

Ian's story

Frank’s Story

I have been meaning to do something about my drinking for 37 years now. I do believe that 2014 will be the year that I finally bid farewell to my lifelong trusted companion, who’s name is Alcohol (in case you hadn’t figured that out) and move on. Why now you may ask? I don’t know why now but for the first time in my life I have goals.

I shut down when I was 10 years old. I still can’t talk about what happened but I can tell you what happened after that. Basically 50 years of complete mistrust of any living being and an inner anger so powerful that I was even frightened to be me.

I worked it out the other day with my Blenheim CASA key worker that I have spent a total of 25 years in hospitals, detox centres, day programmes, residential rehabs and psychiatric units.

You want to know my goals? There are five of them.

  • Stay abstinent
  • Finish every course I start
  • Get a job
  • Have relationships with people
  • Be happy

Thanks for being interested. It means a lot.

Frank's story

Madhuri’s Story

My name is Madhuri which in Gujurati means sweet girl. I am 29 years old and have a son who is just two and a half named Saadi which means happy. My life was sweet and happy and Blenheim are helping me to make it sweet and happy again.

I arrived in England four years ago to marry Sabai. We had never met before, our families chose us and it is our duty to respect that and I did. There was something about Sabai that they didn’t know though. He was injecting heroin. It was on Saadi’s second birthday that me and my son spent our first night away from Sabai, in the refuge. Those first few months were very frightening for me. I was told that Saadi would be taken into care unless I agreed to leave Sabai while he was still using heroin. Nobody seemed to understand our culture and that I needed to stay with Sabai and make our marriage work.

Blenheim understood and also helped me to understand what I was risking. Blenheim helped all of us. Me to get English classes and voluntary work, Saadi into nursery and Sabai with drug treatment.

I am now doing a course to convert my Indian Accountancy qualification into a European one. Children’s Social Care have stopped the proceedings to take Saadi into care and Blenheim are helping with supervised contact between my son and my husband. Sabai hasn’t used drugs for three months now. Sabai means ‘with strength’. This is a good name for him and for me.

Madhuri's story

Rob’s Story

I don’t believe in God but something bigger than luck has got me here. I didn’t think it at the time but I can see now that it was crack, not love that kept me and my girlfriend Kate together and Anna, our daughter, was born into our mess. It felt like I was the wrong one because I was the bloke. So Kate got to take Anna into rehab not me, when Social Services got involved. I was upset and angry about that. I got to go to Blenheim, which, to be honest, felt like picking the short straw at the time.

When Kate relapsed, I was blamed for being a bad influence, even though I was a 100 miles away. This time I put my anger to better use. Anna. She was only 7 and the thought of her being brought up in care like I had been gave me something real to fight for. When I relapsed I was up front about it, I was early for my groups and keyworks and looked smart for the custody court hearings.

For the first time in my life I was committed to something other than crack and it was hard and good at the same time. I’d always felt unimportant like some ant that was constantly trod on or an annoying fly that was swiped at. It has taken 6 years but now I am drug free and important.

Now I am responsible for Anna.

Now I am a good father.

Rob's Story

Sabrina’s Story

I met Ross three years ago and my life literally turned upside down. He was the best man at my cousin’s wedding and I was blown away. It wasn’t long before I discovered that he was using crack and not that much later before I was too. I think that I thought I was happy and then I was pregnant and suddenly my life was no longer my own.

I was referred to Blenheim by social services when I tested positive for crack in the early stages of my pregnancy. It wasn’t hard for social services to detect the domestic violence either and I was moved into B&B accommodation. To be honest it was a relief to be rescued and I attended every single appointment I could get.

The groups and key work sessions properly kept me focused and stopped me from doing something stupid. My Blenheim key worker even came to the hospital when Rio was born and kept me calm through 16 weeks of foster care where I had to show my parenting skills. I did ok, actually I did good. Me and Rio will be housed soon and although I’ve been abstinent for 10 months, I still go to Blenheim – they are family now.

Sabrina's story