Carol's story

When Carol was referred to Motiv8 from her local job centre, she was not engaging with any services.

She felt let down by health services, and traumatic life experiences meant that she was using alcohol as a coping mechanism.

“Every day I would just drink and watch TV on my own. I had been drinking for over 30 years. My legs were physically weak and this was causing me to have regular falls and I would often injure and bruise my ribs. I didn’t tell anyone as I thought nobody could help me. I rarely left the house because I couldn’t manage the stairs.

I had problems with my house too because of mould and a leak in my boiler. I’d tried to get these sorted through my landlord.”

Carol was referred to Motiv8 from her local job centre.

“Even after I had been referred to the Motiv8 programme, I didn’t want to engage with health services or my GP. I didn’t think that they could help, and as alcohol was my only relief and way of coping, I didn’t want to get any help for it. It took quite a lot of encouragement from my Motiv8 Key Worker who persuaded me that I needed to do something to improve my life. I eventually, reluctantly, agreed to see my GP and I’m glad I did as I’m now getting the help I need

“Motiv8 also supported me to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) due to my health conditions. I’ve also accessed support from social services to manage mobility at home and to reduce accidents.

“Also, Shelter is a specialist partner to Motiv8 and through them I’ve been able to communicate with the landlord and organise days for the repairs to be made. All the repairs have now been done.

“The biggest hurdle was tackling my drinking. I’ve been supported by Achieve alcohol services and in a relatively short time I was able to access detox. After 30 years, I am now alcohol free.

“With the support of Motiv8, and the persistence of my Key Worker – who really motiv8d me to improve my life, I have no doubt that I was on the way to dying. When I was assessed by an alcohol worker, they said that my drinking was going to lead to my death. I wasn’t eating and was very thin. I had given up on life and didn’t have any self-worth. I would probably still have been drinking, leading a very isolated life and not getting the help I needed. I was struggling with the simplest of tasks and my mobility was limited. My mental wellbeing would also have continued to be low, or would have deteriorated even more. I was also struggling financially, so the practical support has also been invaluable.

“Now I feel that I have rediscovered my self-worth and even learned to take praise. I feel like a different person and I’m looking forward to life. I’m being careful about doing too much too soon, but I would like to help other people. I have also encouraged my brother to access Achieve support to reduce alcohol use and would like to eventually be someone that can support others to reduce substance misuse at Achieve.”

Carol's Key Worker, Noor, said:

“People sometimes lose their self- worth when they’re stuck in a rut and isolated but I could see straight away that Carol was a wonderful and kind person and just needed to be reminded of that.

Sometimes people need time to make that big decision in life and sometimes they need a little bit of encouragement. But credit to Carol, it was her that eventually decided to engage with health services to get the support she needed and it was her that decided to stop drinking after 30 years of dependency.

Once she made those big decisions, all I did was provide direction and support along the way. Not only is she able to stand on her own two feet now but she was wants to help others do the same. I think we can all find that strength within us. I saw it in Carol and I’m absolutely sure Carol will find this strength in others too.”

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