Hi my name is Gerry.
I am an ex service user at Aquarius Recovey Near You in Wolverhampton. I have been clean and dry for almost 14 years now having undergone a liver transplant due to my dual addictions to both drugs and alcohol.
I now work as a volunteer hospital outreach support worker. I work as part of the DALT team ( drug and alcohol liaison team) at New Cross Hospital Wolverhampton.
The team consists of Drug and Alcohol liaison manager Carolyn Musgrave , Senior drug and alcohol nurse Nathan Lowe, outreach Recovery support worker Louise Bradbury, Recovery support worker Clare Harteveld and myself.
My day begins with a morning briefing followed by a ward round where we talk to people who have drug or alcohol issues and encourage them to engage with our community services on discharge.
We usually do our outreach work in the Afternoon when myself and Louise Bradbury carry out home visits and see clients who are’nt yet well enough to attend sessions at Thornhurst or Pitt St.
We also support patients in attending outpatient appointments, support them in attending Groups,
We offer 1 to 1 meetings Psycho/social interventions and housing support.
Our aims are to engage with hard to reach clients, to reduce frequent flyers and to encourage the health and wellbeing of our patients.
Another part of my role is to co-facilitate our SMART group which we run twice weekly on Wednesday evening at Thornhurst and on Saturday at the friends meeting house in Summerfield Rd.
Hi my name is Bruce
I had many reservations due to the fear of the unknown when I started to complete the application form to join Aquarius as a volunteer.
After 39 years plus working within one business which was very far removed from the Aquarius operation all sorts of questions were going through my mind
Will I fit in?
Am I capable of fulfilling any role?
Can I do this?
Am I doing the right thing?
Do I have the confidence to meet people – who have issues with alcohol,drugs or gambling?
There were many more thoughts too numerous to list but you get the idea!
I guess its only human nature to have most of these thoughts when we are stepping into the unknown as we often fear the worst.
So after approximately 3 months with Aquarius were any of the above fears and questions founded and the answer is simple….NO!!
From being invited to an informal chat … being accepted, going on the 2 day induction programme (incidentally there were approximately 20 others with me on that probably all thinking the same) and then completing 3 to 4 training courses I can honestly say
You are made to feel part of a family
Any questions/reservations you raise are answered with honesty and empathy.
Like me most volunteers had first hand knowledge of alcohol,drugs or gambling either as the person with the addiction or as a family member directly affected by it (the former in my case).
Everyone be it staff or volunteers make you feel welcome.
There is great humour and warmth from everyone given the sensitivity of the “subject matter”
There is always someone you can talk to as and when situations arise you are not familiar/comfortable with
Personally through my life I always struggled to fit in which was part of the issue with my addiction but I feel as though I’ve been with Aquarius for years and not just 3 months!!!!
Whether you want to be involved as a valuable member of the backroom staff based in the offices of want direct contact with clients who are facing addiction issues there will be something you can do and most of all…….Don’t be afraid to come and join the family!!!!