In the past KW has had an issue with illicit substances. He spent his lifestyle regularly offending and surrounding himself with negative associates. At the time KW was also sofa surfing. Between 1982 and 2015 KW was convicted of 51 theft offences to fund his addiction; KW states that there was nothing positive about his life at this time and felt that he was caught in a rut, which he couldn’t get out of, but he explains he was just trying to survive.

Whilst being on probation KW was referred to the IOM house. Since being here he has engaged with the About Turn Project which supports individuals with drug misuse and offending issues.KW feels this helped him in the early stages of his recovery. KW claims to have attended this for a year and thought it was very beneficial. KW states that he felt supported by this group and liked talking to the right people. Soon afterwards he started volunteering at The Bridge, an open access drug service run by SSJ in Southampton. This enabled KW to pass on knowledge to service users who were in the situation that he had been in before. 

KW was offered a volunteering opportunity within recovery work, as a result of his positive engagement and work on his recovery. He feels very passionate about this type of work, and glad he’s been given a chance. KW states that his previous engagement with the About Turn Project and The Bridge contributed towards this. KW enjoys providing support to other service users, also stating that he feels he now has a purpose in life, being able to do this. 

Since volunteering as a recovery worker KW has gained many attributes. He has demonstrated leadership skills, by thinking of new ideas to bring to the groups. One of these ideas was to introduce metal detecting as a new session, which has now made a big difference to the service user’s sessions. KW now takes service users out on a bus each week to do metal detecting. His confidence has grown and he is a very positive peer within the house. 

Since April 2016 when KW arrived at the IOM house, he has committed no offences and has used the house as a positive step in his recovery. KW stated that the IOM house has given him the opportunity to change his life for the better. KW stated that he now feels whole as person and knows that he is only going to grow from here.

KW had a lapse with cannabis in the early stages of being at the IOM house, therefore receiving a verbal warning, however KW states that in order to be truly successful within recovery, you need to break habits and he feels that this lapse was him finding it difficult to break the habit or drug misuse. KW has received no further warnings since being here and has continued to be a positive peer within the house. KW states that his family have had a big impact on his recovery, particular when they have seen the difference in KW when he is substance free. 

“The IOM has helped me stay clear minded when staying off drugs. I have an honest approach and have been given the right opportunities to really work on myself, within a safe environment. The environment has given me time to recognise my issues, which I feel I have now addressed. This has made me a mentally and physically stronger person. Preparing me, one day to stand on my own two feet.  I am now volunteering for SSJ which will hopefully soon lead to employment and it has made me feel like I have a purpose, and I’m only going to grow from it.”