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Gillingham Drug & Alcohol Project hosts open day

By jspiteri  |  Posted: August 12, 2014

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An open day being hosted by a local charity aims to raise awareness of the work being done by the group in North Dorset and to challenge some of the stigma that those who have problems with drugs and alcohol face.

A fundamental belief underpinning work done by EDP Drug & Alcohol Services Gillingham Project is that, given the right support and resources, people can and do make remarkable changes.

In celebration of EDP’s 30th birthday, members of the public can go along to Gillingham Project’s Open Day, Woodcock Court, Queen Street, Gillingham on Saturday 16th August, 10am to 1.30pm, for a coffee morning and cake sale fundraiser. This will be a great opportunity to find out more about EDP Recovery Services from those who have been supported by the service.

Justin, a sessional Recovery Practitioner at the Project, tells his own recovery story, “I hit my rock bottom at the end of October 2012, after an entire adult life of drink and drug abuse when I tried to take my own life by driving intoxicated into a tree on a country road. Fortunately I survived and I was extremely fortunate to have had an arresting police officer who helped me see that this didn’t have to be the end for me but a chance to start afresh and get help. I was referred to EDP and I started to see my Recovery Practitioner once a week for one to one sessions. With his help I managed to stay abstinent. By the middle of January 2013 I started to work as a Peer Mentor for EDP. Since then I have been given many opportunities and great training and gained some fantastic qualifications. I am so grateful to EDP and the large helping hand it has had in my strong and exciting recovery. As a man who less than two years ago was too scared to even answer a phone I became Mentor of the year in 2013 and went on to do a speech in front of 50-60 people at a graduation ceremony. I now always tell service users if you truly try and help yourself, then others will support and help you too. I am living proof.”

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Peter, Mentor at EDP Gillingham Project and EDP Mentor Representative, describes his journey from addiction after being referred to EDP through his GP having been addicted to alcohol for around 15 years. “I started by settling back each night with a glass of wine, a bottle, then whisky. Over the years I continued drinking and experienced all the negative experiences it brings and how it affects others like a ripple effect. Accepting that you have a problem is the first step in recovery and EDP helped me rediscover myself and be free from addiction. With the training and college, this gives me an opportunity to give something back to the community and help others in their journey. Life can still be challenging, but rewarding and I see the positive changes this has made on myself and others around me. With my experience and training I see this as an ideal opportunity to support others to make positive changes in their life.”

Theresa Oliveira Meneses, Dorset Services Team Leader says "We recognise that, to ensure long-lasting change, we need to work with individuals, families, communities and other partners, and we need to address the broader issues of social exclusion. EDP wants to take this opportunity of our 30th Birthday to raise awareness of our work and to challenge some of the stigma that those who have problems with drugs and alcohol face”.

If you would like someone to talk to about your drug and/or alcohol use please come along to the open day or contact EDP’s Gillingham Services on 01747 825872. You can also visit www.edp.org.uk for more information. 

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