Friday, 4 July 2008

Brian White

Brian tells us how his personal story just seemed to jump out of him! -

'A couple of weeks ago I met up with Lucie and Kev to discuss what would go on my pages on the Wired In Our Community blogs. I was asked to think about five words that would best describe me. I went home and thought about it, but I just couldn’t think of the right words. I grabbed a pen and paper to write down some thoughts and the next thing I knew I had written my personal story!'

Please visit Brian White's personal page by clicking on his name in the title.

Chris Ling

Chris Ling tells us his reasons for wanting to do his personal story -

'I have written my personal story so that others can learn from my experiences with alcoholism and mental health problems. In my experiences, people rarely looked past the fact that I was drinking heavily to try and determine the reasons behind my drinking. In my case, there were serious mental health problems that I needed help in addressing. I think that this oversight is, unfortunately, all too common, and many people are not receiving the correct sort of help.'

To visit Chris' personal page, please click on his name in the title.

Chris Hobbs

Chris tells us why he wanted to put his personal story to paper - 

'Last summer, after meeting the Wired In team, I decided to do my personal story. I wanted others to learn about addiction from someone who had experienced it themselves. I’ve experienced the depths of addiction and I hoped that my story would put people off going down the same route as I did. For those trapped in the cycle of addiction, I hope that my story shows you that there is a way out.'

To see Chris' personal page just click on his name in the title of this posting.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Mark Saunders

I first met Mark when he became a Wired In volunteer in 2005, after making the decision to stop using drugs. He has since been actively involved in numerous Wired In projects, rising to every challenge that we throw at him!!
Mark was the 'star' of the first Wired In filmed Personal Story. In the film, Mark talks candidly about the life he has led, from aspects of his childhood right through to the present day. It's a moving and thought-provoking production and will be launched on "Our Films" blog on the 19th May 2008 - watch this space!
Since 2005, I have had the pleasure of watching Mark moving forward in all aspects of his life. During this time, both Mark, and his girlfriend Gemma, have become good friends to me. I look forward to many more years of their company -professionally and socially.
Mark has so much to offer the field of substance misuse and I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more from him in the near future. This is Mark's written personal story.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Kerry Manley

I met Kevin's mother Kerry some months after meeting her son and quickly learnt what a special lady she was. She wrote her Personal Story and was discussing it with Lucie and Sarah, but was unsure whether she wanted to be filmed. 
One evening Sarah called and asked whether she could cancel a trip away as Kerry had changed her mind about filming - but she was very nervous. I told Sarah she had to drop whatever else she had planned and meet with Kerry. They spent the morning with Jon filming one long interview and wow! Kerry was a natural. Some of the things she talked about still bring tears to my eyes.
Kerry is one special lady and has remained a good friend. She has been through so much with Kevin's addiction and her resulting problems. It has been so good to see the impact of Kevin's recovery on his mother. But all her problems did not go away as soon as Kevin stopped taking drugs. It has taken a good deal  of time for Kerry to get to where she is today.
This is Kerry's Story.  

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Kevin Manley

I first met Kevin two years ago after he had stopped using drugs. There was something about him which I couldn't quite put my finger on. It was an inner peace, something special. Of course, given his previous drug-using career, he potentially had some struggles ahead of him as he moved along his path of recovery. But there was this calm.
Our film-maker Jonathan Kerr-Smith and Lucie made a 35-minute film, which included his mother Kerry, that describes parts of Kevin's life. I am very proud of this Wired In film and it greatly moved me. Since then, I have been able to watch Kevin move along his path of recovery, and we have shared some special moments together. He is a special friend to my young children.
Kevin has been a Wired In volunteer for the past two years and I am confident that he has much to contribute to this field. This is his Personal Story.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Why are Personal Stories important?

The experiences and views of people who have 'been there' are critical for our understanding of addiction and recovery. Personal Stories of people who have been affected by substance use problems, either directly or indirectly via their loved ones, are important for:
  • Inspiring and motivating people affected by substance use problems
  • Understanding how the harms caused by substances and the substance-using lifestyle can be reduced
  • Providing insights into how recovery from addiction can be achieved
  • Improving the commissioning and delivery of treatment and other support services in the community
  • Raising awareness and tackling prejudice amongst the general public.