Charlotte's Story

25 Nov 2016

We’ve helped many thousands of people over the last few years to overcome crises that they were not able to face alone. It’s a special feeling when those people get back in touch and remind us of the impact we have had on their lives.

Charlotte’s story is a great example of this.

“Nine years ago I was homeless and addicted to heroin. My life was spiralling out of control and I really didn’t see a future for myself.

“I am now a wife and a mother with a good job and a home of my own. I guess I could say that, for want of a better word, my life is completely normal. I am happy, confident, and full of ambition for the future.

“People say that’s down to me and my desire to change, and of course they are right. But it was Framework who really gave me my life back. It was them who got me clean, them who got me housed, and them who taught me the skills I still use to this day to live an independent and happy life. But nine years ago things were very, very different.

“I had been addicted to heroin for several years and my life was horrendous – so horrendous that it wasn’t really a life at all. I wasn’t living. I was just existing day to day.

“One day something just snapped and I thought to myself ‘I can’t live like this anymore’. I went to my doctor and finally asked for help. Things moved very quickly from there. I was found a place at Portland House in Newark, which at the time provided supported accommodation to women who were addicted to drugs.

“To be perfectly honest I was terrified when I first got there. I remember everything about my first night there even to this day. I was in flat four and it seemed so empty in there. I had one bag of clothes with me and one book.

“On my first night I just cried and cried, but I knew I was safe and that I was in the right place.  I then went through a medicated withdrawal, which really wasn’t a nice thing to go through – like the worst case of flu you can ever imagine.  I took part in recovery groups and had cognitive behavioural therapy, but there was so much more to that place than just getting clean.

“It really was just as much about helping you to live independently and make a success of things when you moved out. We all went through a Framework life-skills training course, where we learned about debt management, cooking, cleaning, budgeting, healthy eating and other stuff too.

 “I only spent about nine months there but in that time I changed so much with the help of my support workers. When I moved out they helped me to find a flat in Newark and helped me to get into college. I eventually moved in with another girl who had been at Portland House, began working and met my future husband.

“Framework really did have a massive impact on my life. Even to this day I am still making use of all the things they taught me in those nine months. I have paid off debts using the financial skills they taught me; I cook for my family in the evenings using the cooking skills they taught me; I own my home because they taught me to be financially responsible.

“I sometimes wonder what would have happened to me had I not come to Framework. I really think that my story could have had a very different ending. I’m not ashamed of my past. In fact, most of my friends and colleagues know all about it, but my step-children aren’t quite old enough to fully understand the things that were going on at that time. For that reason I am sharing my story anonymously, but rest assured every word of what you have just read is true.”

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