26th January 2022

How the West of England Works programme helps women in recovery from addiction


West of England Works aims to support people with the barriers they might be facing to get into education, training or employment. As a partner organisation of the project, we are focused on supporting those who are in recovery from addiction.

For a lot of the women who join the project, they are in a place where they want to make a positive step in their lives but need support with the things they are struggling with like anxiety, depression, past trauma and of course with their recovery. West of England Works aims to help people move forward in their life with education and employment, but to get there, we believe first we must focus on mental health and recovery.

One of our participants, Jo (above), said “before I joined the project, my life was just beginning recovery wise, and I felt slightly out of my depth. I felt college and the world was for ‘people who could cope’ so I didn’t have a cohesive belief that I could succeed. I joined the project as I felt I needed counselling for past trauma and I was open minded enough to believe I could be helped. I also knew I had to push myself out of my comfort zone and connect with other people in recovery.”

On the project (although there is a waiting list) we offer counselling to our participants to go alongside their recovery and working towards their goals of getting into education, training and employment. This is what one of our participants, Jane (above), had to say about it: “The counselling was a God send, as it helped me work through difficult stuff, and as a result of that my self-worth has grown. The project has been life changing for me and helped me in so many ways. I feel more confident in myself and interacting with others.”

Every week we have Aftercare Support Group. The participants get a chance to check in with everyone and have some group time if they need it. Aftercare has been known to be safe space to share thoughts and feelings. One of our participants, Laura (above), said: “I have grown so much in confidence, and getting feedback in a loving environment has allowed me to look at myself without taking everything as a personal attack. It has helped me gain new friendships and build my self-esteem greatly. I have been able to help others like I have been helped. I’ve gained a greater sense of self and found a lot more peace in my life, through aftercare support group especially.”

As mentioned earlier, we work with participants and any barriers they are facing with regards to getting into education, training and employment. We have worked closely with Jo, Jane, and Laura, helping them in areas such as finding short courses to try out, finding college courses and applying for them, creating CVs, helping with personal statements to get into university and various other things to support them. We have seen them accomplish great achievements and growth in their time on the project.

Jo has gained a Level 2 in Counselling Skills and is currently finishing her Level 3. She has now applied to study at university. Jo is also going to be volunteering as a support worker at the same rehab she was a patient in. Jane is currently volunteering in a local shop and is going to be volunteering to work with horses on a farm in the next few months. Laura is currently doing a Level 3 course in counselling and will be going to university to further her studies so that she can pursue a career in counselling.

To sum up how the project has helped her, this is what Jo said: “The project has enabled me to completely change my life, with love and direction from the wonderfully supportive staff.”


Refer yourself to get our help

While we are always happy to receive referrals from anyone wanting our help, we are currently reaching out to women who would benefit from our support. If you are not currently working, face barriers to education, training and employment and are in recovery from addiction and looking for support with your next steps then please get in touch with us. You can reach our Project Coordinators by telephone by calling Sophie on 07306 419833 or Wendy on 07847 269632. You can also write to us by emailing westofenglandworks@broadwaylodge.org.uk

To find out more about the help we offer and to check if you are eligible to get our support, please click the ‘Read more’ button below.

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