BHT at 50: The moving speech by my colleague, Donna

At BHT’s 40th anniversary, a client called Donna spoke movingly about her journey through addiction and into recovery.  She spoke again last Tuesday (16th October 2018) at an event to mark BHT’s 50th anniversary.  This is her moving, inspirational talk:

“For those who weren’t at the 40th anniversary I did shared at about 6 months free from substances.

I have to say I feel slightly more nervous today than I did back then.

I was determined to share my gratitude for an organisation that helped to save my life all those years ago.

When I first entered the BHT services over 10 years ago. I wasn’t just recovering from substances, I was recovering from everything that went along side it.

  • I was a child who spent my teenage years growing up in children homes.
  • I was recovering from all the loss I experienced because of my addiction.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Traumatic childhood.
  • Street homeless.
  • Health issues because of my addiction.

I believe the help that I have received over the years as enabled me to heal and recover one day at a time.

Now 10 years later I have a life beyond my wildest dreams. It hasn’t always been easy, but I am here sharing my story which blows me away. The young girl that came into treatment isn’t the same girl today. Reflecting on this is what really blows me away.

I would like to take a moment to thank all the projects that helped me to save my life.

There are projects that I haven’t used but we all know all our projects play an important part in our residents and clients life’s.

I would like to take a moment to thank ………

I learnt to take responsibility for my life and was shown a level of care that I had never been shown before. This helped me on my journey of self-love which I found so hard and introduced me to a 12-step programme which really helped me to maintain my recovery for all of these years.

Taught me how to live more independently whilst still having the support from keyworkers and my peers.  This was a very important part of my recovery as it helped me to grow up. I now work for the Move on project and I am keen to continue to learn and grow alongside our residents with a great a team and office.

I was able to be of service buddying and supporting others who had once been where I had been. Giving back was a very important part of my recovery as this helped me with my self-worth.

I was able to receive the much-needed therapy which helped me to form a better understanding of myself and allowed me to heal.  I went on to Peer mentor at Thresholds then many years later I went back and got an opportunity to work with them. This is where I started to learn to be part of a team.

I learnt so much at this project. I was employed with them for over a year which taught me a lot of skills. Like managing a small case load. The work that fulfilling lives do to help professionals to help improve services for our most complex clients from service user involvement is truly amazing.

We spent a year working together with both Rise and Fulfilling Lives offering a safe place for women to access the service. We were made to feel welcome and I really enjoyed this piece of work and seeing first-hand the great work that happens there.

For the support I received around job interviews.

I did have to go away to learn more about myself before I started working for BHT as I needed to do more growing. I went away studied, had my daughter and came back 8 years later as a paid worker, but I was lucky enough to always be connected to BHT with bits of volunteering and buddying.

I’d like to finish on this.

I heard this saying a while ago:

“There is nothing wrong with aiming high in life and achieving our goals and dreams. Just don’t forget to hold your hand out and help the next person up”

That’s how I see BHT an organisation which holds out hands out to help the next person up, so we can all achieve.

There are many of us here who been through BHT services and are now paid workers. I believe we are prime examples of our Missions: creating opportunities and promoting change.

I truly have so much gratitude for BHT. I believe if I didn’t get the much-needed help and support I received then, my life would look very different today.

Thank you


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