This year Phoenix Futures is running a Mother’s Day campaign to thank Mums and to raise awareness of the huge part Mother’s play in an individual’s recovery; ‘just under 50% of our service users said that their Mum was their main support in their recovery’, Phoenix Futures Footprint statistics 2011.
Our graduates and service users want to share their personal stories and messages about their Mums to celebrate these women and the vital role that they play.
Jay, Graduate of Phoenix Futures
Phoenix Futures Service User thank you to Mum.. “You’re one in a million”
Thank you to Mum.. “Happy Mother’s Day”
Phoenix Futures Service User thank you to Mum.. “She’s really helped and supported me through everything”
I first heard of Phoenix Futures when I went on the Therapeutic Community (TC) in HMP Holme House. I would like to say that I went on there to make a change to my lifestyle of drugs but to be honest I went on there to get an easier life in prison.
My first thought of the TC was that I had joined some kind of cult (due to the morning meeting and everyone clapping at what I thought at the time were small achievements) but my attitude to it changed over the first two months when I realised that those small achievements were actually big ones for the people making them and now I was the one receiving them. Plus now I was entertainments department head which was a big thing for me because I had stopped being outgoing and I lacked confidence due to my drug and alcohol dependency. At the time I thought I needed them to be outgoing and confident, how wrong I was.
The thing about the TC was that we didn’t look at the drug use but at the behaviour that led to it. That’s what led me to realise that my life had been really chaotic, moving from one job to the next and also moving my family around the country. That’s when I had my eureka moment. I could not carry on like this because I would either be in an early grave or locked in prison for the rest of my life. From that moment on I wanted to change and the TC helped me along the way to reach that goal.
It was as I was doing just that, that I realised I wanted to help people just like I was helped so my first step to that was to become a facilitator on the TC which I really enjoyed. I got some really good guidance from the Phoenix Futures staff.
Then I moved to HMP Kirklevington Grange, at this point I struggled a bit but the Dart team (Felicity Armstrong) were there to help me get back on track and helped me get a job in the Dart office as the first Dart Mentor at Kirklevington Grange. They also helped me successfully complete my OCN level II Peer Mentoring qualification and I have also done some more facilitating of group sessions (Parent Factor and Smart Recovery) which brings me to the present. In five days time I will be out of prison and looking forward to a future working to support others in recovery.
I know that I’ve still got some struggles to go but I’ve now got the skills and support to help me overcome them.
So a big thank you to all the staff on the TC in Holme House and thank you to the Dart team in Kirklevington Grange (Felicity, Natalie and Ruth).
To mark the day, service users were asked throughout Phoenix Futures to write a poem about their recovery. These poems are also available on our facebook page www.facebook.com/phoenixfutures1