Volunteering plays vital role
Encouraging service users to get involved in volunteering is a way Adullam Homes has found helps to give them a sense of value and provides a way to engage with others. Building confidence and identifying skills both result from acting as a volunteer, important attributes to preventing homelessness.
A great example of the important role volunteering can play is JK who first came to Adullam Homes in August 2020. He was dependent on alcohol and would suffer withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours of not drinking.
At that time, he was at our Chorley Old Road project and was working with Achieve, the local substance misuse treatment and recovery service. Due to COVID lockdown, contact was maintained through phone calls.
Sadly, JK continued to use alcohol to an extreme level and to the point that his needs and risks could not be met by Adullam. Consequently, he was served with a Notice To Depart (NTD) in December.
On New Year’s Eve 2020 he turned up at the Next Steps night shelter, managed by Adullam in partnership with Bolton Council. JK used this every night until January 19th, and after not being seen there turned up again on February 16th.
JK tried to keep himself away from alcohol during this period by keeping himself busy, however he ended up drinking again.
On his second stay at Next Steps, it was agreed for him to be accepted into Adullam’s Muamba House project as a final option.
At the beginning of his stay JK was not drinking alcohol, he kept himself busy and managed to stay sober until the end of March, at which point he had a “blip” which turned into him using alcohol on a daily basis again.
This continued for approximately four weeks, at which point he had a seizure resulting in hospitalisation; during this stay, he was sent to the Chapman Barker Unit, a detoxification inpatient service. This meant that on his return he was no longer dependant on alcohol.
As soon as he came back to Muamba, staff asked what they could do to support him. The main thing he wanted was to keep himself busy, if he has something to do then he’s less likely to start drinking again.
JK started doing bits of volunteering around the project and getting involved in activities including national coproduction week, Mental Health Awareness Week, and general resident involvement activities. He thrived in this environment and has become a valued volunteer.
In July 2021, JK moved into his own, independent accommodation.
He has since been back to Muamba several times – not because he’s having problems, but to help with the food bank and to sit on interview panels.