Looking towards a brighter future

04 May 2013
by Neil Skinner

Paul, 39, was given another chance by Framework’s supported accommodation for recovering drug users in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. His problems with alcohol are now under control and he is taking positive steps to build for a brighter future.

Paul, who had long been a heavy drinker, admits that he finally allowed drink to get the better of him after the breakdown of his relationship. After walking away from his home and his job he entered a downward spiral that came to an inevitable end.

For five months between June and November he was homeless – a period spent sofa surfing and living rough in empty sheds and garages.

After completing an alcohol detoxification programme he was referred to Framework in December and given a place at Framework’s Cross Street accommodation in Gainsborough, where he can stay and recover for up to two years before moving into independent accommodation and into employment.

Paul, who is already volunteering as a sound engineer and craftsman at a nearby theatre, was self employed for 17 years in a series of successful enterprises, but he now fancies a rather different challenge, however, and will soon begin training as a counsellor. 

He said: “When I finished my detox and came out of rehabilitation I had nowhere to go – I was homeless, so if it had not been for Framework I know I would now be back drinking and back on the streets. With the amount I was drinking back then I could well be dead now.

“This is the first time for a long time that I feel I have a choice about what to do next so I am thinking very deeply about it, but I definitely know that I want to use my experiences and my knowledge to help other people in positions like I was. I have just been accepted onto a counselling course which starts in September and I am really excited about it.”

Paul , who lives in his own modern and self-contained flat, has been given all necessary support and encouragement from Framework staff, who have helped him learn invaluable new skills.

He added: “Because I was always out working I have always relied on women to do certain things for me. I suppose I was a bit like a feral cat when I came here but in the time since I have learned a lot! I have started to cook (I am actually pretty good at that) and have also learned how to prepare meals on a budget – something I know will come in handy later.

“My alcohol use is also now under control. I can now sit with other people who are drinking and I can actually have just  a social drink in a pub. The important thing is that I know when to stop now.”

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