Claude came to WDP after a lengthy battle with alcohol, having been drinking for over 40 years. When her son suddenly died aged only 34, Claude found that her drinking had escalated and her health was at risk. Everyday tasks became increasingly difficult and finding motivation for anything other than drinking was hard.

“Sometimes I didn’t wash and locked myself away. I became isolated and wouldn’t answer the door, I wouldn’t even answer the telephone. I wouldn’t go out except when I had to go and buy a bottle of vodka.”

Waking up one day, Claude, decided she couldn’t go on like this anymore.

“Then one day I woke up and I just thought no this is no life-I really can’t carry on like this-I just feel sick all the time.”

With the help of her partner, Claude privately attended a residential rehab clinic that was willing to accept her the very next day. After completing 6 weeks of treatment, Claude was then referred to WDP’s Hackney Recovery Service. Having found it hard to make the initial step into recovery, Claude soon found her worries dissipated and found herself progressing well with her recovery. She became a peer mentor and started helping others with similar problems to her in Hackney recovery Service.

“I love everything about the centre. Everybody is here to help you, you never feel that they’re looking at you or judging you.”

Claude was also one of the first users of WDP’s Capital Card®; a scheme focused on enabling service users to re-engage with the community therefore getting more out of their own recovery. Claude became involved in the Capital Card® Charity Shop, aimed at allowing service users to spend points on necessities, such as clothes and toiletries, as well as providing a space for service users to expand on their skills.

“It’s a very relaxed atmosphere, we have tea, coffee and bits to eat and everybody is very friendly.”

“I find the shop is slightly lighter, more social, you just sit there and be yourself, talk about what you want and it’s not always just about addiction. It’s just a friendly atmosphere.”
As well as the shop, the Capital Card® also gives its users the opportunity to re-engage with their communities, through discounted goods and services, such as cinema tickets, gym memberships and cooking classes. These ‘Spend Partners’ (where Capital Card® users can spend earned point), are passionate about helping our users get the most from their recovery journey and here at WDP, we are always on the lookout for new spend partners who share our values, and increase the opportunities available on the scheme.

“This is a real chance for the community to come together and show support for their community’s growth and success.” WDP staff member

When speaking about her peers, Claude is enthusiastic about the impact the Capital Card® will have on other service users’ journey and success. It gives them a little bit extra to look forward to at the end of the day and helps to make an already difficult journey that much more rewarding.

Now a peer mentor, Claude is providing support and advice to other service users, helping them to get the most out of their recovery journey.

“That to me is my journey and I love every minute of it. I get the support and it keeps me safe and out of trouble. If I hadn’t found this place or been shown the way to this place, I doubt I would be here now”

You can stay updated with the Capital Card® and hear about new spend partners on http://capitalcard.org.uk/ and follow us on Twitter @wdp_charity.