The project, called Boston Recovery Pathways, has made a big impact for local people despite the restrictions of successive lockdowns and has provided intensive support, resulting in 90 people stopping drinking or using drugs, gaining new skills and successfully working towards their recovery goals.
A fifth of the service's beneficiaries are from Eastern European backgrounds, and the project has set up specific support groups, created recovery resources in different languages and employed local members of these communities in both voluntary and paid positions to spread the word. One such participant is 'Ivan':
"I attended Introductory meeting and was able to talk through what support I needed for my recovery. We put together a Recovery Plan which I am very committed to. My goal is to stay sober and to be able to work, socialise and enjoy my life whilst being sober. I attend weekly 1 to 1 appointments and a weekly peer support group at BRP. I am not a very open person, and I find it difficult to trust people. I am thrilled to have access to a Polish speaking peer support group at BRP as my English is very limited at the moment. Every time I come to BRP – I feel like a member of a family. I feel welcome and supported. I started opening up and participating in discussions. The staff gave me a book translated to Polish about living sober – I use it every day and we discuss it at the peer support group."
The project has been a lifeline for local people from all walks of life, and has successfully supported them through the additional strain on their mental health caused by the pandemic. Volunteering and connecting with other people through the online and face-to-face support groups is an important part of this, as 'Linda' attests:
“When I first came to the project, I was still using drugs. I had just come out of hospital and I have a history of self-harm and suicide attempts. Having the support from BRP and connecting with the mental health group has helped me feel more positive again, I have learnt techniques for managing my urges and dealing with payday. I am now volunteering and keeping busy has been the best thing for me."
Going forward, the project will continue its focus on reaching people with alcohol and drug problems in all Boston's communities, as well as engaging with local employers and family members to increase understanding of the issues and equip them to support recovery more effectively.
Steve Youdell, Operations Director of Double Impact said,
"We are delighted that we are now able to build on the solid foundation of the last four years, thanks to players of the National Lottery and with the continued help of the National Lottery Community Fund. We are proud of the work we have done in the area so far, particularly during the additional challenges created by the pandemic, and are committed to creating even more impact for the people of Boston through this project. '.
To make a referral or find out more about the project, click here.