“I was starting to feel happier and it was nice to know someone was at the end of the phone if I needed a chat”
When Tracy joined Step Forward Tees Valley she was struggling with her mental health and using alcohol to cope with her day to day problems.
“I was told about Step Forward Tees Valley by my support worker from Middlesbrough Mind. He told me about a fitness session they ran at Eston Leisure Centre. I decided to go down and see if they could help me. I met Les who runs the fitness session and a navigator called Carole. They were both lovely and made me feel relaxed and welcome”.
Carole realised that Tracy needed specialised support for her mental health and alcohol addiction, and introduced her to Martin, a health link worker on the Step Forward Tees Valley programme.
“When I met Martin he listened to me and didn’t judge me. He helped me understand that my drinking was effecting my mental health. Martin told me about CGL and how they could help me with my drinking. Les from MFC Foundation helped me improve my confidence through his weekly football sessions, I looked forward to these each week”.
With Martin’s support, Tracy started an alcohol programme with CGL and began her road to recovery. CGL are based in Middlesbrough and offer support, advice and information around alcohol and drug addiction. “I still have a long way to go but I am feeling better in myself”.
“I was starting to feel happier and it was nice to know someone was at the end of the phone if I needed a chat”.
During Tracy’s next review it was evident to see that her stability was improving. Her navigator told her about an 8 week programme called “healthy me, confident me” which encourages participants to adopt healthier lifestyle choices and improve their confidence and self-esteem.
“I was so nervous in the first week. I sat with another lady who was feeling the same as me and we hit it off straight away. The course helped me understand what alcohol and fast food was doing to me. It also helped me find my confidence again.”
Tracy was starting to think about her future and asked her navigator about volunteering.
“I felt better when I was doing something, keeping myself busy. I wanted to try volunteering so I joined the community heroes group and started helping in my community. I have done all sorts of things like litter picks, cooking for the homeless and painting. It’s helped me get out the house and not feel alone”.
Tracy is currently in the final stages of completing her peer mentor qualification. She has controlled her alcohol intake and is feeling happy and healthy.
“Step Forward Tees Valley has changed my life. I have made some amazing friends and have done things I thought I could never do. I have lost two stone and hope to run a fitness session for people like me in the future. Thank you”.