Has Red Rose Recovery had a positive impact on your life? You can let us know by submitting some feedback in our contact form by clicking here.

Beneficiary, Long Covid Support, 2024

I was referred to Red Rose via the NHS Long Covid Team as they felt that I would benefit from their input.

My initial visit was from Vicky and Scott, and I knew immediately that I was going to enjoy working alongside Red Rose.

Vicky would come and visit, and see what I needed. I have never been on benefits before, so I had no idea of how it worked. Vicky helped to source information that I needed to figure out what I would be able to claim, and she set me off on the right path.

Vicky was promoted, and she was replaced as my caseworker by the wonderful Orla. Orla, like Vicky assisted me with the claims I needed, and wrote a very valuable piece for me for my higher PIP claim, which played a big part in me being successful. When she knew I was struggling, she would encourage me to go out with her, she knew the right thing to do at the right time, without me having to say anything. Orla also advised my daughter who is at university, to apply for a hardship grant, something we didn’t know existed, and last month my daughter was granted a sum of money that will help her out tremendously.

Orla and Emily then created the weekly LC Support Group which has been a lifeline for all of us. From the very first meeting, when I found out that out of the 8 of us, 6 have had to give up work, I immediately felt less alone in the turmoil I am living.

They have run the group so well that we all feel comfortable with being open and honest with each other, and we have even been out together as a group for lunch…this is an achievement in itself as some members of the group are uncomfortable with being out anywhere in public. They also facilitate those who are not able to come to the group by including them via zoom.

Without Red Rose, where would I be? Quite possibly still trying to figure out how on earth I was going to manage financially now I could no longer work, and would be as stressed as I was. I would still be feeling judged by a society that has absolutely no idea how badly Long Covid destroys your life…. I would still be feeling terribly isolated, and that it is just me, I am being soft, I am being wet. Basically, I would still be facing a long very bumpy road on my own, with no direction and no idea where, or how to go.

Why Red Rose? Because I have never ONCE felt judged by any of the team. Scott, Vicky, Orla and Emily have always listened, they care, you don’t feel like you are wasting their time, and nothing has ever been too much trouble for them. They go out of their way to help, and if they don’t know something, they will find out and get back to you. The group goes from strength to strength and it is down to the effort that is put in, and the fact that they genuinely do care. Every one of us has had different needs, yet they work hard to help us with whatever is within their power to do.

Sadly, Orla left, but not because she didn’t love her job, but because she is off galivanting around the world, we forgave her….just! She was heartbroken telling all of her people (sorry, brain fog, the correct word won’t come to me). It wasn’t just a case of ‘Bye…I am going’…she was so upset about saying goodbye. Emily has done a fantastic job carrying on with the group without her, and I feel that Orla’s replacements are going to do a great job of picking up the baton and carrying on the fantastic work that the others have started.

The Red Rose Team LISTEN to what we say and HEAR what we need, even when we don’t hear ourselves.

The team is SO valuable to people who are in our situation, and there are many more who need their help out there…. People who are struggling on alone.

You know I mentioned the long bumpy road with no direction? This fantastic team help smooth out this road with their support and input, and with their own brand of gentle kindness, they are able to point us in the direction of the light at the end of a very long road, and they link us to others with whom we can share the journey.

All of the above is why the Red Rose Long Covid Support Team is so SO valuable to all of us with Long Covid. I know I can speak for those of us who have been fortunate enough to have had the input of the team, when I say that we are so very grateful for all that they have done, and continue to do on our behalf.

May many others be able to get the help of this fabulous, invaluable team.

Service User, Criminal Justice System, 2024

I began attending a Red Rose Recovery group in July 2022, eager to start my recovery journey. This was my first encounter with a lived experience recovery organization, and it captivated me from the start. I had lost myself and my health, struggling with addiction for about six months. My previous life involved fitness and even training others, a stark contrast to my current situation.

After multiple health scares and warnings, I was placed in a dedicated support area. There, I met representatives from the organization, who offered me guidance and support. I participated in their weekly group meetings, and they quickly became a source of hope and motivation for me.

During my journey, I completed various courses, focusing on community development and understanding trauma. These experiences helped me recognize past experiences and build the skills to advocate for myself and others.

I also participated in a public speaking program, gaining the confidence to share my story and inspire others. This culminated in a presentation where I delivered a powerful message of hope and perseverance, encouraging individuals to never give up on their journey.

Red Rose Recovery has invested time and energy in me, providing me with the focus and hope I lacked before. After my release, I aspire to inspire others through my own story and contribute to positive change.

I am currently in a coaching program, further solidifying my recovery foundation before my parole hearing.

Service User, 2024

Your professional guidance has been invaluable, and I truly appreciate our conversations. It means so much to have someone who listens attentively, a quality that, sadly, is far too rare. While I can’t express enough gratitude for your help, I admit it’s confusing to experience your genuine care. It triggers emotions I’m not accustomed to feeling, almost making me uncomfortable. Perhaps it’s because, as a caregiver and mother, I’m used to giving, not receiving. Accepting care feels unfamiliar, and the very thought brings tears to my eyes. So much about this is new and confusing, yet amidst it all, I recognize your incredible support. Thank you, truly.

Service User, 2024

Red Rose Recovery has been supporting me over the past 15 months. I have complex PTSD and schizophrenia, coupled with substance misuse and self-medicating. Lisa come to visit me at home as I was struggling to engage with face-to-face groups. In fact, I was in crisis with my mental health conditions and Lisa recognised this. Lisa never gave up on me because she saw that I was acutely unwell and struggling to engage normally. This perseverance and frequent contact from Lisa made me feel like I wasn’t a lost cause, and worth helping when I was at my worst. Lisa’s presence is quietly confident reassuring and non-judgemental, which enabled me to trust and open up to her.

This year has been very difficult for me in regards to my housing situation. I have had to go to court three times now as my landlord tried to evict me for outstanding rent arrears. I do not have the support of my family as they are not accepting of mental health. Lisa enabled me to go to court and supported me with this difficult time. Understandably I was distraught attending court the first time and Lisa’s strong, confident manner reassured me I can get through it. Lisa supported me attending court a further two times. Which in the end court worked out in my favour. Without Lisa’s unwavering support my outcome no doubt would have been very different.

Lisa’s patience, careful observation of my mental state and of course laughter has been integral to my recovery. This testimonial is a true reflection of my experience with Lisa’s support and my experience with Red Rose.

Macmillan Cancer Support, Upon Receiving £190 Raised From a RRR Group

You are the icing on the cake, we can’t thank you enough for baking a difference. The amazing funds you’ve raised could help run a large Macmillan benefits advice service for over 1 hour. Thank you so much and best wishes, Ewa.

Service User, 2023

Seeing Vish at Red Rose Recovery has helped me get out of the house in a period of isolation and allowed me to set positive goals to try to help me reach a more comfortable position in life where I can work on deep rooted depression. She is very friendly and listens to what I have to say. Our meetings so far have been very positive.

Service User, Post Covid Service, 2023

I have been diagnosed with post covid, I also suffer from anxiety and depression and have alcohol dependency issues. After being referred to Red Rose Recovery by the post covid service, I now consider myself extremely fortunate to have had Orla assigned to me.

At the time I felt quite anxious regarding having a support worker. From the outset Orla made me feel relaxed and comfortable. I was soon to find out she has many fine qualities. She is kind, caring, attentive, so friendly, understanding, non-judgemental, a great listener, a great sense of humour and very genuine. She carries out these qualities and many more with dedicated professionalism. Orla is always prepared to go above and beyond, assuring me it is ok to talk or message.

A couple of many examples – I have recently been in hospital for a hip replacement, I was quite anxious at the time and Orla kept in touch throughout giving me moral support and encouragement. In January 2023, I was admitted to hospital induced by alcohol for a clinical detox, it was a worrying time for my elderly parents, Orla was an incredible support to them, my daughter, sister and me, constantly keeping in touch, wanting to know my progress. Since then, I feel I have progressed so much having not used alcohol since and my mental health has greatly improved. Orla must take a great deal of credit for this, always giving me support, encouragement and being there for me. I feel I have a fair way to go but with Red Rose Recovery’s continued support along with the help I receive from the post covid service there is light at what has been at times a very dark tunnel.

Service User, Post Covid Service, 2023

I wanted to say a massive thank you for sending one of your staff to support me, the lovely Orla. I can’t thank you enough. She makes me feel so safe. I feel I can tell her anything without judging me. I have been able to talk about dark things in my past. When she first came to me, I was in a terrible situation, I didn’t want to go on with my life. She has helped me to deal with things. I am not 100% but at least I have a bit of hope. She is one of the most understanding people I know. She makes a massive difference to my life.

Service User, LSCFT Post Covid Service, 2023

I met Emily initially with the lovely Orla, who even though I have only met a few times has provided immense support to me, even just over messages.

Emily has been like a ray of sunshine in my life. Without her, I wouldn’t have been able to move forward. She dedicated her time every week to help me sort through all of my belongings, making multiple trips to charity shops on my behalf. I had no one else to turn to for this assistance. Not only has she provided invaluable physical support, such as accompanying me to doctors’ appointments, but she has also been a tremendous emotional support for me. Emily possesses a kind empathy and understanding, especially when I’ve had to cancel on her numerous times. Even on my darkest days, a message from her after venting my frustrations has lifted me out of that dark place. I am truly grateful for this amazing lady, and I genuinely hope she can continue to support me in the future. She is a true credit to your organisation.

Service User, LSCFT Post Covid Service, 2023

I endured a severe case of COVID-19, despite having received three vaccinations prior to contracting the virus. It resulted in a lengthy hospitalization of three months, including two stays in Critical Care. During this time, I suffered from pneumonia and renal failure, with only a small portion of my lung functioning. The medical staff even warned me to prepare for the worst, telling me to say goodbye to my children. However, I received exceptional care from the NHS.

Fortunately, I managed to survive, but now I face the challenges of long COVID. I experience health issues such as brain fog, episodes of acute fatigue, and mobility issues. It can be frustrating to constantly pace myself.

Amidst all of this, I have found invaluable support from Orla and Emily through Red Rose Recovery. In addition to dealing with long COVID, I have other ongoing stresses and issues to cope with, particularly related to my ex-husband, who is a cruel and controlling man residing in France. His behavior has created numerous financial problems for me.

Throughout it all, Orla and Emily have been incredibly supportive and have provided me with much-needed assistance. I truly appreciate their kindness, professionalism, positivity, and common-sense approach. My life continues to present ongoing challenges, but with the help of Red Rose Recovery, it has become slightly more manageable. I am sincerely grateful to Orla and Emily, as they have played a vital role in my recovery and rehabilitation. I wholeheartedly recommend both Orla and Emily, and Red Rose Recovery.

Staff Member, Changing Futures, 2023

I started my journey at Red Rose Recovery in January 2022. I had previously worked in Children’s Residential care which I enjoyed. During my time I worked alongside Social Workers, Police and Family Courts. I recognised an additional need for support with families and individuals who were facing multiple disadvantages including substance and alcohol misuse.

I began at Red Rose Recovery as a Peer Mentor, supporting the Changing Futures East Team and quickly moved into a Navigator role. I worked extensively on a 1-1 basis with beneficiaries and services to provide the additional need of those experiencing homelessness, mental health difficulties, substance and alcohol misuse, criminal activities, and domestic abuse. With the additional training and experience, I then moved into the Team Leader role where I now oversee a team of 20 members of staff, all with lived experience and have the chance create the system change including breaking down stigma associated with those experiencing multiple disadvantages.

I have an extensive network of support from my team and senior managers and I wouldn’t be in role I am today without the opportunity, trust and provision given by Red Rose Recovery’’


Before being referred to Red Rose Recovery, I was at risk of being made homeless. My situation was that I am retired, I was suffering from long covid, heart problems and was sadly widowed during the pandemic. I do not have close family so was facing all this alone. As well, my landlord informed me he wanted to sell the home I was living in. I felt highly anxious and fearful of all kinds of scenarios regarding my health, safety and what would become of me, as well as the worry of practicalities like where I would keep my furniture and possessions.

In the beginning, I first met with Zoe and Kirsty from Red Rose Recovery. They reassured me they would be able to help me with Red Rose Recovery support services. I also went on to receive support from Orla, Vicky, and Emily, who then went on to help me in securing a social housing apartment, helped me organise a move and benefit forms. I have noticed an improvement with my mental health since coming into contact with Red Rose Recovery.

It really was the worst thing I had faced in my entire life. I have really appreciated the help they all gave me. I know in my own heart and mind thanks alone is never enough. I also know this much… if it hadn’t been for all of you ladies giving the help you all gave to me, I don’t know where I would have ended up or what would have happened to me.

You all deserve all the praise you can be given, and I really do mean that in all sincerity of my mind heart and soul. Your managers should be very proud of you all and if they need any further clarification, I would be happy to share this with them. I would absolutely recommend Red Rose Recovery to anyone who needs your help.

Case Study, Families Matter, 2023

I have been working with a family member now for over a year, who’s loved one is in addiction. Her mental health was suffering as a result.

She couldn’t understand why he could not stop drinking and he was being verbally abusive to her when he was drinking. He continually asked her for money when he had spent all his on drink and made her feel guilty if she did not help him.

She could not do anything and could not enjoy anything as she was always worried about him. Her life revolved around him even though they didn’t live together. She had no time for herself, as all she was focused on was getting him help and making sure he was ok.

We started working with her by encouraging her to put boundaries in place that would help her try and get some of her time and life back.

One of the boundaries was not to answer the phone or let him in her house when he was drunk as this was causing her real distress.

She couldn’t understand why he was like this and why couldn’t he stop, and she always used to say, “if he cared for her, he would not drink anymore”.

We talked about addiction. How it was an illness and how no matter how much she tried to help him, nothing would change unless he wanted to make changes

Through working with her, she began to realise that she had no control over his addiction. That she could not control him. That he was the one responsible for his actions and no matter how many times she would make appointments for him that he didn’t attend, it was because he did not want to.

Going forward, she realised that he was the one who had to make the appointments and responsibility was on him to attend them.

She realised that she can only do so much as its out of her control, but she can be there and help him when he is sober and wanting the help.

She is learning to take one day at a time, trying to get her life back and enjoying the things that she wants to do without worrying about him, and that she is not responsible for his actions only her own.

She regularly attends the family groups to be with other families that are in similar situations. She now knows that she is not the only one going through this and takes strength from the group. She knows that within the group space, she can speak freely about her situation with like-minded people as they all help each other through their own difficulties.

Annie, L&D Staff Member, 2023

I started out, like many people, experimenting with alcohol and other drugs. The difference with me was that right from the beginning any substance changed me, from someone who was pretty insecure, full of self-loathing and self-conscious to someone who just didn’t care. It wasn’t so much that using gave me confidence that was authentic, more that the numbness created, within me, a very convincing bravado. Instantly, I wanted more.  From a young age, drugs and acquiring more drugs became top priority in my life. It affected my school life, in later years my work life, but most importantly it affected my relationships with others. Over time, I wreaked devastation around me, hurting those I loved more than any others.

I became a criminal, I became an incompetent mother. I ended up going to prison and my child was removed from my care.

I became so low and depressed that I attempted to take my own life, several times. I put myself into dangerous situations and was unable to protect myself from predators. As the years went on (over 40 years of active addiction) things got steadily worse. I had no hope, as in despair and prayed for death.

By chance, or a miracle some would say, I bumped into someone I had used with six months previously. She looked healthy, happy and confident. A new woman. I wanted to know how she did it and there began the recovery journey.

I started to go to mutual aid groups and signed up at the local drug and alcohol service. I had done this before, but this time I willingly admitted I needed help and accepted it. I did everything possible to get clean and stay clean.

After 12 weeks of being abstinent, I began volunteering as a Peer Mentor. I received a lot of training, support and my well being improved because it feels good to carry the candle of hope to another suffering addict. I then got a job at the local drug and alcohol service I had attended, on reception. I loved it, I was busy, I was useful and I was able to offer a smile and a kind word to all who walked through the door.

Then, I got the opportunity to work for red Rose Recovery (RRR), seconded to the Liaison & Diversion team at Blackpool Custody. (I can tell you, I still get a kick being able to freely walk around a police station!) The best part of this was being to directly support vulnerable people towards their own recovery journey. I received massive support from RRR and needed it too. This really boosted my confidence and my skillset. I again received a great training package, learned a lot and met some amazing people. After a time, an opportunity arose to join the NHS side of the job, still working for the Liaison and Diversion team but as a member of the NHS – with a bit of an increase in income too. I went for it, RRR supported me through the process – big thank you to them – and I was fortunate enough to be offered the post. And that’s where I am now. Is the story over? No, it is just the beginning.

I hope this brief synopsis of my story will inspire others to take their first step and begin their own adventure.

Can I call myself a champion? Darn right, I believe I’ve earned it!

Staff Member at LSCFT, 2022

One of my clients messaged me today, saying thank you for making the referral to Red Rose Recovery.

He said he’s had support from Jim, who’s supported him with his shopping and that he feels the ‘organisation is lifesaving’.

Staff Member at LSCFT, 2022

Please can I just say how happy and impressed I am with your service so far!

I referred someone last week and within just over an hour they had been contacted and an appointment made. This is a very isolated lady who has now already seen one of your staff and will be going to a café with them this Monday.

Staff Member at LSCFT, 2022

You guys are great at Red Rose Recovery, it’s been a real privilege working with you.

Shirley, LSCFT Post Covid Service, 2022

I would like to pass a compliment on to your service please.

A father and his son were full of praise for Kirsty, one of your staff, and the relationship she has managed to build with the father.

The first Red Rose support person didn’t work out but I was really impressed at your willingness to persevere to get a good fit.

For my chap it has worked brilliantly. The words that I’ve written down that both father and son have used about Kirsty are; Lovely, Easy-going, Flexible, “I trust her”, Easy to get along with.

So, a big thank you to Red Rose and particularly Kirsty.

Service User, 2022

I started 7 months ago with a major alcohol addiction of which I thought I was down and out then I met Lisa my recovery worker. Well, I was out of control with amounts and thought I was going to pass. Here I am 7 months later, and I haven’t touched a drop since. My brother has been drinking still in front of me and I thought I was losing it at first then finally I hit 3 months without and getting told I look well comments off people around me. It was and still is building my confidence really fast and I feel 100% better than I did when I started packing in the drink and rebuilding my life.

Couldn’t have done it without Lisa by my side and coming to see me as I was bedbound. She is ace, she has really turned my life around and I honestly think I couldn’t have quit for good, but I am aware of relapse, and it scares me to be honest, but I got Lisa to kick my ass and she has done more than I thought she would. She sorted all my issues with Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and she has also got Together Housing quickly to repair all repairs and 7 month later and a lot is changing and that feeling believe me works to strive you forward and forgetting about the past. She deserves respect as she is also dealing with her own issues, and I know I’m a pain because I text morning, noon and night but always answers when back in the office. I hope she can help you achieve what you think you have lost and look forward to your own futures I would definitely give Red Rose a ring and ask for Lisa because I know she will find the time to help you.

Kath, Adullam Programme (Lancaster), 2022

I just wanted to drop you a quick line to say thank you for inviting Adullam to the LUF meeting last week.

It was so great to see so many people in the room cheering one another on and what an energy there was – we really do recover better together!

You and the team are doing a fantastic job connecting these guys together and if there is any way we can support you in that please let us know.

Service User, 2022

I’m now working and got a proper job, moving to a nicer bigger flat next month and seeing my daughter again soon. Thank you so much for what you did for me on that day on 2nd September 2021, it saved my life and my family’s life. Without you I wouldn’t be where I am today and without your loving kind, care, and compassion I would still be in the madness and not were I am today. Kim you were my angel at my time of need and I’m forever grateful for to Red Rose and all those involved in my recovery, so for that thank you for seeing me for who I was and gifting me a 2nd chance in life.

Service User, Women’s Group, 2022

I have been an alcoholic for the past 20 years. Something that crept up on me gradually. I had a rough few years and used alcohol as a crutch, it took over my life and I couldn’t function. I managed periods of sobriety using will power. I have tried Inspire, Alcoholics Anonymous also stayed in rehab but have failed every time.

This time I self referred to Red Rose after being given a leaflet at the hospital. This was followed up by a phone call from Emily almost straight away and an introduction to the women’s zoom group hosted by Lynne. I was hooked after my first meeting. We talk about everything, how we are feeling now positives and negatives, we cry but most importantly we laugh too and we are there for each other. I recently didn’t attend for 2 weeks and missed the group so much I jumped on a meeting that I don’t usually, just to be back. I am also attending my group this evening.

Red Rose has become my life line. It has given me confidence that I can do it and in those down times help is just a phone call away. We are all very different women but with one important thing in common and we are there to help each other which in turn helps us. I have been sober now for 2 months and feel I have the help and strength to carry on.

Lancaster Allotment (Ambleside Road Allotments), 2022

I would like to say a big thank you to the following organisations that helped out on the allotment this week, so if you see them on site please introduce yourselves and say hello.

Red Rose Recovery:

Sarah O, Donna M, Kaitlyn G, Freddie

Cancer Care:

Sarah, Chris, Margaret, Angie, Sarah D, Shelly, Patsie, John, Hilary

The work that they have done this week has been invaluable and I think everyone would agree that their help is very much appreciated.  They have not only helped with the edible hedgerows but also cleared the wooden compost bins ready for Lancaster Men’s Hub to start the renovation of these bins, thank you.

Staff Member on the L&D Team, 2022

My name is Daniel and I am an ex offender and have spent time in a rehab due to my drinking. I am currently a Peer Support Worker employed by Red Rose Recovery. Soon I will be moving on to become a Release Engagement Practitioner with the NHS. I would like to tell you about my experiences and how Red Rose Recovery supported me in making this transformation.

I was in a young offenders institute by the time I was 17 years old and began drinking and taking drugs in my teens. My 20s included long periods of unemployment and heavy drinking/ substance misuse. I received numerous convictions and prison sentences related to this. I realise now that I was also suffering with mental health problems also. At the time I could see no way out and came to accept that this is what my life looked like and would continue to do so.

Becoming a father in my early 30s and with the support of my partner I reached out for help to address my drinking. I spent 3 months in a rehab and began to really understand myself and how I had got to this stage. This is where the fight back began and I started to rebuild my life. On leaving rehab I managed to get a part time office job. With renewed hope and optimism I enrolled on a degree course as my ambition began to return. After 3 years I now hold a Foundation Degree in Alcohol and Substance Misuse Work and I have a BA Hons in Health and Applied Social Studies. Still though I worried about how my past would affect my chances of employment. That is when I saw a job advertisement from Red Rose Recovery which was asking for people with lived experience of the Criminal Justice System, Substance misuse or mental health struggles. These were all things which I had experience of and I saw the chance to turn these perceived negative experiences into something positive.

I was lucky enough to have been employed and started working with and supporting people who had been arrested. The role of the Peer Support Worker allows you to draw upon your past in order to help people who are currently struggling with all manner of problems such as drink, drugs and mental health. This is a very enjoyable and rewarding job. We work alongside the NHS Liaison and Diversion Service who are based in Police Stations and Courts. As a Peer Support Worker you are supported by both Red Rose Recovery and the Liaison and Diversion Service. The experience has given me confidence and for me it has played a huge part in turning my situation around. People like myself who have a past can flourish and the opportunity which was given to me by Red Rose Recovery has played a pivotal part in the continued rebuilding of my life. With their support I am now about to embark on a new chapter, working in Prisons and with Prison Leavers. Helping and supporting people who are currently experiencing similar issues to the ones which I once faced.

Service User, 2022

Hello, I’m a patient on the Skylark unit. Just wanted to say thanks to Scott from Red Rose Recovery for helping me and the lads. We never get judged; Red Rose has made a difference in my life. I love having Scott’s support he is really understanding – things in my personal life I have been through I can connect to Scott on a personal level.

Service User, 2022

It’s early days for me yet as this is only my second session but all the feedback from the Service Users seems positive and encouraging. I will come again. It’s good to have time to talk about my addiction/substance use in an impartial and non-judgmental way, and to get professional support. The group meetings are beneficial as well as the one to one’s. Speaking to others helps me to look at things from a new perspective, and to value myself so that I can make better choices

Service User, 2022

Red Rose Recovery has helped me to talk about drug problems and anything else I want to discuss. Scott is supportive and easy to talk to. Red Rose Recovery has helped me learn a lot. If I struggled, I would know where to get help!

Service User, 2022

Fabulous to see all the lads engaging in a positive manner, happy to talk to each other and Scott from Red Rose Recovery. What a positive part of rehabilitation at the Skylark centre!

Service User, 2022

Beneficial because Scott and the team listen. They are not judgemental and have experiences what I am going through, Red Rose helped me by talking about the effects of drug misuse and how it effects my mental health.

Hope & Beyond, 2021

I found the course really good and it certainly helped me through a troubled time and it has given me knowledge and understanding to make me a better person in the future.

Hope & Beyond, 2021

Amongst bills and demands for payment was a certificate from the Hope and Beyond programme which gave me a real lift. Thank you.

Volunteer, 2021

I came to Red Rose Recovery as a volunteer to gain some understanding of recovery as part of my psychology studies. I was put to work quickly planning and organising, which has helped the head office structure. I have gained skills and experience that I hadn’t considered prior to coming to Red Rose. I am gaining transferrable skills in terms of Human Resources and the running of the organisation and it’s structure, but I am also observing the roles of team leaders and volunteers. I get involved with service users and support training by helping set up and have even helped out with the creation, contributing ideas by using the psychology knowledge I already have.

The key thing I have gained from this role is the sense of community, everyone has been so welcoming and so supportive that it feels almost like I’ve gained a new family. I will be returning to my studies in the coming weeks but I will remain with Red Rose Recovery and will continue to support both the organisation and my own development. I am now determined to tackle awareness of recovery as part of my studies and will be contacting my high school and college to build greater awareness and education around this matter using the contacts and relationships I already have.

Hope & Beyond, 2021

I would like to say a big thank you, for putting me forward for this course.

It has helped me identify my emotions. I am new in my recovery and I used my addiction to suppress my feelings. Doing the course help me identify between thinking and feeling, which has helped me understand ways to overcome and work through them.

It has also helped to identify areas in my life that could be improved… thank you.

Service User, 2021

I have got my son back! Thank you for all the support. I love Red Rose and the women’s meeting and other groups I attend, I’ve got something from each and everyone of them and you have all helped me so much and pushed me to keep going – such inspiration from you all, I would be lost without all the support.

Leadership Coach, 2021

I have really enjoyed taking part in the leadership course. I found it very beneficial in the sense of getting to support someone who needed support and was confident but needed reassurance. These sessions helped my mentee to obtain a grasp of financial applications and interpersonal skills. My mentee had a professional career for a long time and these sessions helped him to re-adapt into the working world. These sessions have helped me to speak to my mentee on a one to one basis and gain valuable experience of life. Knowing that different cultures and beliefs do not make a difference to the struggles we have in life, with my mentee I have gained a lot of knowledge and a valuable friend. My mentee was keen to learn and was always ready and waiting for the sessions.

Leadership Coach, 2021

The Remote sessions were SO much FUN! Everyone is so friendly kind and respectful. The whole project was super exciting and was delivered with high quality.

The Red Rose Recovery Project helped me a lot as a mentor and as an individual. I wanted to help and make a difference. I thought it would be challenging due to Covid-19 however I was supported and guiding through each process. I was a mentor for a lovely individual who was a service participant. I supported him throughout the 12 week project in the course and 3 levels he has now successfully achieved.

Red Rose created a capacity for everyone to achieve goals and learn whilst having mass amounts of fun. Red rose ensured the programme was delivered with high quality sessions. The facilitators and project managers made everything easy to understand and easy to enjoy from start to finish! This made Red Rose the Pleasure it is to be part of.

Leadership Coach, 2021

I have found the course very enjoyable! I have learnt so much from the experience and it has been so beneficial to me.  It has give me an insight into the journey of a recovering addict and ways in which I can support them.

The course was really good and Tracey also really enjoyed it. My coachee has been amazing! She did not need as much support as what maybe some of the other members did but through our chats I found her inspirational and could not have asked for a better participant. My coachee is very disciplined and is using her experience and transferrable skills to volunteer to help others who have found themselves in similar situations which is amazing!

Thank you for the opportunity you have given me and I would love to participate in the next tranch if you need more mentors.


Leadership Coach, 2021

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a coach so far. In this cohort I have managed to build a fantastic rapport with my coachee and feel that I have really supported her through the course. I have got to know my coachee on a good level, and I have been able to use my own personal experiences in life to assist her with the difficult time that she has been experiencing in her personal life.

From my first meeting with my coachee, I have seen a dramatic change in her out look on life and have seen her go from strength to strength gaining more confidence as each week progresses. I can see the impact that Red Rose recovery has had on her life and she should be so proud of her achievements. Gaining employment with Red Rose I feel has been a massive turning point in her journey and I would say that It has been a massive privilege to get to work with my coachee in this cohort.

Not only has the course been good for the participants but I feel it has also been a fantastic development opportunity for the coaches too. I hope to remain as a coach for any future cohorts and would love to keep in touch with my coachee once we have finished this current cohort to see her continue to blossom as she gains more confidence due to her achievements.

Leadership Coach, 2021

I signed up for the leadership program with the idea that I could help someone progress through a challenging time and support them in getting ready to get back in to work. What I didn’t expect was that I would gain friends, that I would learn something about myself, as well as learn about the struggles that people face due to addiction.

I got so much out of this course and it’s given me the confidence to progress in my own career as well as giving me the belief that I can achieve anything. The people on the course were inspirational and a pleasure to work with. I have every faith that they will succeed in whatever they put their minds to. They’ve already overcome so much that I believe that they could do anything, if they set their minds to it! The resilience & determination they’ve shown is amazing and they should all be really proud of how far they’ve come in such a short time.

Leadership Coach, 2021

I have found being part of the leadership program an invaluable experience. It is truly heart-warming to see that such a place exists, and it has been wonderful to have a glimpse of the Red Rose Project and how it operates. Being a coach has been very rewarding for me and it has been really inspiring to watch the participants grow in confidence and knowledge. I feel that some of the topics and conversations we have had, have not only helped the participants, but have also helped me to look at myself as an individual, highlighting what skills I have and of course my weaknesses. I am now exploring the possibilities of moving to a career which would enable me to support and work with vulnerable people.

In relation to my participant, he has really demonstrated great commitment to the program and has always made himself available for our catch-up chats. The difference in him from start to finish of the course has been fantastic. He has grown in confidence and has much more belief in himself. I truly wish great things to come for him. It has been an absolute pleasure working alongside him.

Hope & Beyond, 2021

I attended the hope and beyond course because I was struggling with my mental wellbeing and it was suggested to me that it may help. To be honest, I wasn’t holding much hope.

We as a group very slowly over a few weeks worked on thoughts emotions and behaviours, and I am going to be honest again that suffering with mental health problems started to take me back to CBT cognitive behavioural therapy and I thought here we go again this rubbish as I have had many sessions with professional people using CBT and I honestly didn’t get it and thought it was useless in my situation.

I completed the course with a better understanding of my disorder than ever before, I understand my thoughts how to manage feelings and I have defiantly worked on my behaviours.

The team taking this program were patient and understanding and kept the whole group involved and this gave me the time I needed that I had never had before to learn and understand CBT and how that everyone in the group had different thoughts feeling and behaviours around the same subject, this was a big turning point as I now know that I can change everything and that my feelings around things are not set in stone I created them so I can change them.

I am extremely grateful to have been able to do this hope and beyond and hopefully my feedback will make any professionals realize that now for me this all makes sense and I very easy to grasp but it wasn’t always like that a brain in low mood struggles with taking in information and mine was no different. But this was done in a way that I could relax and take time to take in what was being explained to me.

I would say I wish I had done this 20 years ago but that thought would create a feeling I don’t need so this course has taught me to say I am very grateful I had the chance to do this program.

Leadership Participant, 2021

This course has been a journey for me as I was a manager in one of my previous roles and due to alcohol abuse and a diagnosis with mental health, anxiety and depression I gave up on myself and could no longer cope. I also had lost confidence in every aspect of my working life and honestly thought I was useless to the world.

The course was delivered at just the pace I needed it to be in order to grow my confidence and self-esteem and to be honest, I was scared of failure at first but then the work coach came into it and this assured me I was not alone and would be given all the help information and guidance I needed and this was greatly important to my progress.

I gained so much knowledge in this course about myself and others around me in a working environment and how in order to succeed in life you have to integrate your skill set with others.

I gained confidence in myself over the course of the program that now I believe I can do anything I put my mind to and there are resources and people out there in order to help me along the way.

Now I am certain that whatever job role I decide to take one in the future I can do better than before as this program showed and gave me confidence in the skills that I already had but never had the mindset to realize them, and then showed me a way in improving my skillset.

I learned small very important things that gave me confidence in life such as one day I could get a mortgage what to me sounded ludicrous as I had to be hospitalized but has given me confidence in the financial sector, in that I can ask for help in the work place at any time, I can write a CV to apply for jobs as at the age 43, I still to this day have never had to write one and wouldn’t of knows where to start.

Let me tell you what this has done for me I was a man who had given up on ever achieving anything in life. I knew what I wanted to do but had given up trying as I thought it was never achievable. Now I am confident, full of purpose and ready to face the world again, as now I know I need the world and it needs me.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart you have truly changed my life.

Service User, 2021

I was released from prison in January 2020 after serving a 7-year sentence. In the twelve months since that date Red Rose Recovery have been integral to my progress. I have found both staff and fellow members to be supportive and non-judgemental. The nature of the support I get from this organisation derives from a spirit of mutual help and a commitment to move forward.

On the practical side, despite Covid, I have been able to participate in groups that have bolstered my confidence and help maintain the equilibrium of my mental health. This last year would have been difficult in any circumstances but during a pandemic the danger of isolation could have been catastrophic. By engaging with Red Rose, I have been able to be welcomed as part of a “family” and feel truly part of something. Although I have not physically met anybody from Red Rose, I feel I have a solid network of support and can call many of those people my friends.

My aim is to set up my own business online and that has been nurtured and supported by members of Red Rose staff, many of whom have walked the path I have walked. Their help has been both inspirational and practical. In December I applied for funding through Stepping Stones and was successful. I have been awarded £1000 towards the setting up costs. The money is extremely welcome but what is perhaps more important is the knowledge that I am surrounded by people who believe in me.

I cannot praise or thank Red Rose too fulsomely. Being part of an organisation who are not put off by my past but who are focused on what I CAN do or become is empowering and humbling. It makes me want to be part of helping others and I will be exploring that path as I move forward in my recovery.

Service User, 2021

 I am a female on a life licence with probation. I have been involved with probation on and off since I was 12 years old. I have struggled with addiction for what seems like my whole life until recently after being released from prison for the 3rd time. This time I went straight into a residential rehabilitation unit.

I’ve been trying to get to rehab for years and it was a lot harder than it should’ve been. I managed to do all the work and I am seeing all the benefits now. I have a really good relationship with my offender manager and she told me about Red Rose Recovery when I was half way through my treatment. I looked on the website and I was really excited about all the things that were on offer to me. It opened up a whole new world that I hadn’t even realised was there!

It really gave me the boost I needed and got me excited about my future for the first time in a long time. She linked me in with new groups of people who are in recovery just like me. I have plenty of people to talk to, it has been so helpful to have the support!

I’ve been put forward for the leadership course which starts in 7 weeks. I do daily zoom meetings online. I get to chat with people daily and with the current lockdown situation I don’t know how I would’ve managed had it not been for Red Rose Recovery! I have a feeling I will be able to be the best version of myself because of the support they show me.

Staff, New You Lead, 2021

I was released from HMP in 2018 to a supported accommodation with no structure but with a passion to want help people like myself who suffer from addiction, homelessness, mental health and much more. I had already had contact with Red Rose Recovery whilst in HMP and was told that there was support outside in the community. I gravitated towards Red Rose Recovery because of their non-judgemental approach and their life experience within the individuals I had spoken to. I started showing consistency and to volunteer because I was told I was worth it and I had people believing in me that I could do what I said I wanted to do this was the first time this had happened to me.

I volunteered for Red Rose Recovery for 3 months and then applied for a job and much to my surprise I got the job, I was a paid employer for Red Rose Recovery and I was over the moon, I couldn’t believe I now had a job.

Shortly after getting my part time job I was introduced to the New You Team. I learned about key performance indicators and many other things that I was oblivious to, not going to lie at the start I was definitely way out of my comfort zone but with the support of my colleagues I achieved my goals and became more confident.

I quickly realised I am great at engaging with others and really enjoy it. Red Rose Recovery gave me the opportunity and the platform to do what I am passionate about.

30 months later I am now empowering others to achieve their goals and always share where I have been and where I am today, I am still currently on probation and don’t get off it until later this year so it’s amazing that I am in the position that I am in and it’s a key tool to be able to show other service users that it a different life is 100% achievable

It’s my job now to contact new referrals and make them feel comfortable and to build common ground with them and ultimately to break down stigma, I encourage service users to get involved in the many groups and activities that we have available within the New You and to then get them a recovery support network, I have also built really great relationships with other organisation in the community to be able to signpost if necessary. We feed people, support them to gain employment, training and education and also through the pandemic we have got many people housed. Being a part of someone’s journey is a blessing and I am grateful to have been given this opportunity

Thanks to Red Rose Recovery I now have a life I now have a career and a FUTURE.

Family Member, 2020

I would like to thank every one that has been involved with my son, I am his Mum and I couldn’t of done this without you all. I am so proud of how he has come out on top because once he was so ill.

I want to thank Inspire and Red Rose and how they made sure I was ok, that doesn’t happen much but I really appreciate the calls daily and the support of the meetings. All the support and gifts I have had from you all over Christmas, thank you so much.

Service User, 2020

I have been a prolific shoplifter since I was 14 and I entered the CJS when I was 16. I have been in treatment all my life and have only ever attended any kind of group work if I was made to in prison. I have never attended any groups in the community or ever really considered recovery. I first came into contact with Red Rose Recovery via the New You outreach during Covid when I was given Naloxone because I was at risk of an overdose. I have since attended support groups and I attend a church on a Sunday now with Red Rose. I feel like they understand, I feel heard. I believe that there is a chance I can one day be in recovery and be abstinent.

Training, 2020

Very amazing, good wellbeing different levels of understanding. U learnt so much and can put the work into practice. I know what I want to be in life work with people who are getting through struggles. Anything I can do to heal others, my energy and positive out there.

Volunteer, 2020

I was in the cells after being arrested and I was introduced to Red Rose Recovery. I am currently working towards being a lead volunteer with the New You Team (RRR). I am also under the probation service and have no intention of re-offending. I attend all the groups that are on offer and feel welcome at all times.

The staff at red rose recovery are very supportive I am looking forward to what the future will bring.

Training, 2020

I was nervous from the beginning, especially. When I was told I’d be videoed on the first presentation. I struggled to do the first 2 minutes as I ran out of what to say. But with good constructive comments from Emma and other participants I felt better.

I liked the way quick sessions were done, each one adding a different skill. I really enjoyed the session.

Mens & Womens Groups, 2021

What I get out of these zoom meetings is a sense of community and watching people grow, they all have a purpose and it is important to have purpose. I would not be here if it wasn’t for these meetings.

Hoping that I can keep going to groups, it has really helped me during my isolation period over these last few weeks.

Biggest part for me was when I came out of detox last Feb and being forced into lock down. When they first started it was my life line, they have now grown and they are on a daily basis, if I never had zoom or the meetings I wouldn’t be here. I can reach out and connect, I am still learning and I can still help people, the biggest thing for me is connection.

I think the women’s group has helped me so much, I am really looking forward to my detox and all these ladies will be here for me afterwards. Thank you so much.

I joined this group whilst I was still drinking, they have given me so much encouragement and I am now on detox and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened, I appreciate everything these girls do for me.

I just think it’s a brilliant place to connect with strong women I think, when you first come on the group they are so welcoming the facilitation is brilliant and it always makes me smile it doesn’t matter what I’m going through but then it’s also taken seriously and you get the support you need on group and after group. So, I am truly grateful and thankful for this platform as well and it’s a good space to be able to talk about women’s stuff privately.

I really look forward to the women’s group, it is serious and everyone is so supportive but we have such a laugh.

This group has done me the world of good, I was in such a mess. I was really quiet. This women’s group has empowered me so much, I try not to miss one group, its really friendly and no one judges you. Thank you so much.

The women’s group are absolutely amazing, you can come on no matter what the problem if your happy or sad or got things going on, the support around you is amazing, the empowerment and uplift that these women give you each and every week has really brought me out of my shell. It taught me to be who I am and to accept myself. The hard work you do and the platform you facilitate is amazing, thank you so much.

I love this group, I don’t know where I would be without this group they check in on me. I have made some amazing friends. Thank you.

Training, 2020

My feedback from Emma was truth and positivity what I have taken from it was more hope and inspiration. I am worthy I can rise up like an eagle and most importantly for me is to get rid of the chicken is in my life. An inspirational real talking group and truth has power in it, real emotions and trust.

Annonymous, November 2020

When I first joined Red Rose, I was apprehensive. I wondered how it would work and how other people could help me an make me feel welcome. I joined my first zoom meeting without my camera on and just sat and listened. I think I did that for my first 2 meetings. However, by my 3rd meeting I was ready to show my face on camera and chat to my peers. I suddenly felt a rush of support like I had never felt before and felt comfortable sharing my story that I had hidden so well for the past year.

You see, I’m addicted to drugs. Not one person judged me or made me feel like I was a failure although I was beginning to hate myself and the addiction that had gripped me so tightly. After a couple of weeks, I not only joined the women’s group but I also began doing other Red Rose Zoom meetings where I would see familiar faces and people who thrive off each other’s support. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I’ve been on groups and felt no self-worth beforehand but yet again the group instantly picks you up! I always come off group feeling powerful.

So, I made a choice… this addiction needed to be taken control of and with the help of the Red Rose staff I made a self-referral to and adult social worker for rehab. I am beginning my journey in there next week. The process from me doing the self-referral to actually being admitted into rehab is less than 3 weeks. I will spend 3-5 months in there. My son’s birthday I will miss and Christmas with my beautiful children. But… what’s one birthday and one Christmas for their mum to get clean and be happy and healthy again? I’m sure I will make up for it when I’m well again.

If you’re struggling out there, please reach out to Red Rose. I feel like I’m a part of the family and you will too. Xx

Training, 2020

I found it really hard, scary and had a lump of anxiety in my throat and my stomach all day but this afternoon I’ve been bowled over and honoured with such inspirations. Glad I was here and thankful, I will practice on these skills.

From a Family Member, November 2020

The story of my daughters battle with addiction and its effect on the family started many years ago but it is only in the past 18 to 20 months that I have really started to understand the reasons for her dependence on alcohol. As a family we had gone through every conceivable emotion imaginable. After a particularly bad weekend which culminated in 2 hospital visits, her partner decided he had almost reached the end of the road and was going away for the night with their children. That left me with a problem. I was about to take my daughter home from hospital after the second visit but I couldn’t leave her alone in her house. I sat in the car and thought “This situation is getting nowhere. Too many people are giving advice but doing nothing and she is literally crying for help”. I decide I would take control and take her back to our house. It sounds strange but it was as though a light had been turned on and I could suddenly see the way ahead. I phoned my wife to tell her the situation and she immediately accepted my decision.

My daughter stayed with us for the next few months, and although she was still drinking we controlled it on a daily basis. She regularly attended Inspire meetings and saw social workers and medical people before being accepted into residential detox followed by rehab. There was a feeling of relief in the family at this stage knowing she was being helped. We visited her at weekends and she seemed to be doing really well. She then moved into a recovery home just before Covid 19 struck and lockdown came into force. The pressure seemed to build up and she began to drift back to her old ways.

It all came to a head when she took an overdose of anti-depressants and drink and she jumped off a railway bridge. That day was surreal. As though it was a bad dream. We knew there had been an incident and actually drove past the ambulance and police, who were by the railway line, not knowing what had happened. Our other daughter and family had watched the air ambulance land nearby and it was an hour later when we received the call telling us the news that the person on the train track was my daughter.

I can’t put into words the emotional effect that this had on us all and it was only a positive attitude that kept us going. Hopefully, things will now look up as she is now out of hospital and recovering very slowly from her injuries. There is still a long way to go but hopefully she will pull through it for everyone’s sake.

The help, advice and support we get from Red Rose Recovery gives an unbelievable boost to us all. One of the many things RRR has taught me is that there is no such thing as a lost cause as long as you stay positive. I do know my daughter loves going to RR meetings (online at the moment) and the highlights of my week are ‘The Families  Matter Meetings’ which give me a chance to get things off my chest and take on board other people’s views. I will be forever grateful to Lorna, Lynne, Barbara and Emma and Red Rose Recovery for the guidance, understanding and help they have shown not only to my daughter but to me and the family.

Thank you to the team.

Training, 2020

Grown in experience and confident talking about my recovery and my part of being a member of Red Rose Recovery.

Families Group, September 2020

These family groups are a blessing and Red Rose Recovery are amazing and our the best advocate’s for these groups. Red Rose should be doing these groups world wide.

The support I get from the family groups is outstanding and gives me hope. They also gives me a safe place to speak and not be judged by the circumstances that I find my self in.

Training, 2020

Although I did not stand up in the final assessment, I still feel like an eagle! Today has opened my eyes to the art of speaking. I didn’t think id be able to stand up at all. Thanks for your time spent with us today. When I have enough to say I will say it. Listening to others today that were in my position inspired me to stay strong.

September 2020

Dear Staff Member, I just wanted to say thank you again for today. I really found your story so inspiring and was so touched that I could be part of this afternoons session too. It was lovely to meet you and I hope that we will be able to meet in person in the future. I truly admire you and everything that you do at Red Rose Recovery. The work you do is truly life changing. The world needs more people like you.

Training, 2020

I was very scared at the start but as getting through the day I grew and became more confident in speaking I’m still a little shaky but in time I think that it will go away, and the things said were very powerful and moving. I thought my story wasn’t anything special and that I didn’t really have one but today has made me realise I have got one and I am bettering myself every day.

Women’s Group, September 2020

Thank you so much I didn’t think something like this would have made such a difference.

All the women are amazing and inspirational, it gives me hope that I didn’t have before, so thank you.

LUF Lounge Live, June 2020

I am a member of Red Rose Recovery and this has been my first time connecting with the LUF Lounge. It has been the best thing I have ever done and I will never look back. Hearing people’s stories, how far people have come, how there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the amazing response of support I have had has given me the strength to start facing my problems and dealing with them. The LUF Lounge will now be a massive part of my life and the people within have now become my forever friends and I’m looking forward to having the strength to attend the next LUF Lounge in person.

Service User, April 2020

My youngest son has severe mental health issues and I no longer work on a community project I was with. Sad but it happens. No longer being in work has had massive impact on myself and my own health. During this pandemic my daughter moved myself and my teenage sons into her house, so we have 2 adults and 3 teenagers and 2 younger children. I have been finding it very hard to feed so many and struggled through until I came across Red Rose Recovery. When having a conversation with one of the staff, she said she would try to help. She never stopped till she had us sorted with a food bank and a lady who has made us home cooked meals to see us through. She has phoned me to make sure all is well and this has given back the hope I was losing. I’m so grateful to this staff member and to Red Rose Recovery and just want to say she has been my Angel sent from God, Amen.


Volunteer, October 2019

What brought you here? How did you hear about Red Rose Recovery?

I needed to start connecting with people who were putting their recovery first. I heard about RRR through different organisations that I attended on a voluntarily basics.

How has Red Rose Recovery helped you?

I attended the 1day course speaker boot camp, I have started going to the Tuesday group, 5 ways to well-being, I attend the yoga every 2nd Thursday. RRR has helped me realise that I can have aims & goals. It’s ok to be vulnerable and ask for help.

What positive outcomes have you achieved since you first engaged with Red Rose?

I received my certificate for attending speaker boot camp, I have met new people, a couple have now become friends & I’m going to be engaging with activities at Saltayre, enjoying the yoga class. This engaging is massive for me & is key to my recovery.

What other services have you linked in with since you first engaged with Red Rose?

Inspire CGL, Strawberryfields, Macmillans. ST Thomas church.

What do you now have in your life?

i have a few people who are close to me who I now appreciate, I am grateful that I have a place to live that I call home. I have what I need. I have a life, I am able to enjoy my life. It’s the little things that count most. Friendship, kindness, understanding. I’m starting to believe in myself.

What do you still want to achieve?

To make a difference, to help people, mental health, Addiction, to care for people who have been diagnosed with a disease.

Volunteer, September 2019

What brought you here?  How did you hear about Red Rose Recovery?

I came to Red Rose as a student studying Counselling. I started with Red Rose doing voluntary counselling whilst I completed my degree. I am still here and enjoying my time working closely with both staff and clients.  My clients with Red Rose are so important and having the opportunity to work with them has really helped me to better my practice and hopefully made a real difference in their lives.

How has Red Rose Recovery helped you?

Red Rose has helped me to develop my skills as a counsellor and improve my knowledge around Drugs and Alcohol. They have helped me gain confidence in my role and have also offered me multiple opportunities to develop within the organisation.

What positive outcomes have you achieved since you first engaged with Red Rose?

From working with Red Rose I have developed relationships with other services that work along side them in their mission to help better people’s lives. From these relationships and opportunities I have been able to secure myself a job within the sector with another organisation that works with Red Rose.

What other services have you linked in with since you first engaged with Red Rose?

I have worked with CGL and had experience with Recovery Homes. 

What do you now have in your life?

A clearer understanding of drug and alcohol abuse and the physical and mental impacts these have on people. I have seen first-hand the people who make it possible for change and the care and unconditional regard they hold when working with others.  I have Red Rose to thank for a lot over the last few months they have helped me gain employment and a higher education qualification. 

What do you still want to achieve?

I want to improve my skills further and build greater relationships with service users. Red Rose will help me achieve this. Staff within Red Rose will pour all their resources into helping people get to where they want to be. The only thing they ask is that you’re committed. Red Rose and it’s staff are always looking for ways to improve their service and will always welcome feedback – of which I have also offered. I am not going to claim they are perfect as various factors will impact on their abilities on occasion but what I will say is they are an organisation that genuinely cares and wants the best for its service users. For me that’s the reason I have stayed with them and will continue to offer my assistance for as long as it is wanted.

Student Placement from Buddies Visit, July 2019

I first joined Red Rose Recovery as the volunteer counsellor, doing placement there for my University Degree.

I was given the opportunity to visit a local prison and meet some of the people who are there. I found this experience to be emotional and wonderful in the same breath.

I became emotional at the stories I heard but felt a real connection when talking to individuals there.

I enjoyed the opportunity to engage with people I wouldn’t have met in everyday life, I took a lot from their journey and really hope they continue to move in the direction they wish to go.

I enjoyed completing the quiz with my partner as this gave us a chance to just be normal, whatever normal means to them. There were no questions about why they where there and no pressure to tell their story if they didn’t want to. It just felt like two people engaging in conversation.

I think offering this kind of service to inmates is only going to benefit everyone involved, it gives me personally, the chance to learn about different walks of life and become less ignorant to the reality of a prison sentence. I feel it gives the inmates the chance to talk to someone who isn’t paid to be there and offers the comfort that we chose to go and spend our time with them.

I loved the experience and I can’t wait to attend again and get to know more people, I want to thank Red Rose Recovery and the staff at the local prison for the opportunity.

Volunteer, July 2019

What brought you here? How did you hear about Red Rose Recovery?

“I began at RRR as a volunteer, quickly being taken on as a lead volunteer. I have been given an opportunity to visit a local prison as a buddy for the prison buddy scheme and have done this twice, as well as visiting with Red Rose to promote the project.”

How has Red Rose Recovery helped you?

“This has helped me with learning to listen to the individual’s unique stories, I do not see this as an opportunity to pry but to give them an opportunity to express themselves to an impartial person who is interested in their lives and to offload to a third person.  It has also helped me approach people who I have never met before, this has helped me to combat my anxiety by making the first step with networking and making a difference.  It is helping my professionalism grow with working with people from all walks of life.”

What positive outcomes have you achieved since you first engaged with Red Rose?

“Visiting the local prison today gave me an amazing sense of self-worth, I was able to use my assets today to forge a friendship with one inmate, he had anxiety and I was able to relax him by introducing myself and using open body language.  Rather than sitting opposite him divided by a table I asked if I was able to sit next to him, so we weren’t having to raise our tone and he felt more comfortable.  He left with a smile on his face and seeming a lot more relaxed.”

What other services have you linked in with since you first engaged with Red Rose?

“The service I linked in with today was the local prison.” 

What do you now have in your life?

“Confidence, self-worth, value, friends, management of my anxiety, ability to overcome barriers.” 

What do you still want to achieve?

“More skills and knowledge with mental health and addiction, progression, to be able to help others with my progression, training. The local prison is able to offer us training exercises and we can partake in other activities within it such as dog therapy sessions, this will be a brilliant experience if this happens as we are able to have a more in depth look at what prisons do to help their inmates.”

Lancaster Farms, 2018

The visitors stayed for the whole session and in the words of one of the group peers, ‘I was blown away’.

It made Recovery ‘real’. As 3 of the Red Rose volunteers had been acquaintances with some of the group on previous sentences.

The visit has inspired the group to ‘have what they have’.

Summed up perfectly by one of the group stating  ‘you know what, I can do this’.

We really appreciate the offer of time your staff and volunteers gave us to inspire our service users about their own recovery.

Service User, 2018

I came to Preston, straight out of rehab because I was told Preston had a good recovery network. I needed to be around people and importantly, people in recovery. I was shown the inspire building on my first day. It looked welcoming and bright, I was rushed off though by my housing agent to the town hall to organise my housing allowance.

Over the next few weeks I came to inspire for various groups as a service user. I found that by far the most active and helpful organisation working there was Red Rose Recovery. Through the Red Rose groups, I quickly made friends. This was so very important to me because isolation has previously been a contributing factor to relapses in the past. The staff at Red Rose were so very welcoming, friendly and encouraging. One arranged 1 to 1 counselling for me which proved to be very beneficial to my recovery and another, as well being inspiration on legs, helped me practically too. I was struggling at the house I shared, and he arranged for great accommodation at another recovery organisation.

As I write, I am waiting to facilitate a peer lead group. I have progressed so far since arriving in a new environment. Much of this is down to Red Rose Recovery and their staff. I would like to thank them will all my heart.

Service User, 2018

I would like to thank the staff at Red Rose Recovery for all their help over recent months. They are the most caring organisation who have chaired recovery meetings, made counselling recommendations and most recently helped me find housing when I was at a loss of what to do. A special mention should go to one staff member in particular, who was the kindest of people and good at their job.

Volunteer, 2017

I am so grateful to Red Rose Recovery for the opportunity for me to be involved in such a fantastic project. Since day one I have learned so much and will continue to learn new skills with plastering and plumbing and the opportunity to make new friends has been a massive bonus. This is the one project I love coming to to be with my new friends who cheer me up no end when I’m not feeling at my best.

Volunteer, 2017

My Recovery Coach helped me to believe in myself and gave me the inspiration, support and confidence to move forward. When my coaching ended I felt that I had a real purpose in life and wanted to continue helping other people along with my own recovery. I went on to complete the Recovery Coach training and really enjoyed it. I now have my own coaches and helping them to achieve a happy and fulfilling life.