Scottish Drugs Forum’s Addiction Worker Training Project has enjoyed great successes since it was launched in 2004.
Over 90% of trainees have completed the project with over 85% moving into employment.
As of February 2017, 90.5% of trainees have completed the project and of the 90.5%, 87.8% have moved into employment.
“I first heard about the Scottish Drugs Forum when I came into recovery and remember feeling surprised that there was a place out there that would employ people like me. At that point in my life, I believed that people with drug and alcohol misuse problems were doomed to a marginalised life, we would never be a productive part of society.
“My life had been spent bringing my three children up and just ‘getting by’. I used drugs from the age of thirteen and they were always a part of my life. I had a deep feeling of inadequacy for myself and felt I was always trying to be someone I was not.
“I blame no one for this today as I can now clearly see how the adults that were a part of my upbringing did their best and obviously did not have the tools I have been given now. I see how the ‘cycle of dysfunction’ carried on with my own children. I have had the opportunity to turn this around and be a better parent, daughter, sister and friend.
“I was four years clean when I applied to the SDF for the Addiction Worker Training Project. My application was handwritten as at that time I did not know how to use a computer, I do now.
“I sent the application away and was excited to get an interview. The process from then till starting seemed to go on forever and I was delighted to tell my daughters, the DWP and my friends I had a job to start. I felt happy and anxious about this and looked forward to starting. The idea that I would be paying my own rent and bills and creating a better life for myself and my daughters was inspiring for me. I was to meet many good people this year.
“We spent a lot of time in the SDF office at the start and I came to love being there. I had a feeling of real support there from all staff members. We were treated as equals and I really sensed I was beginning a new and important phase of my life.
“I met and spoke with most of the SDF staff through the year. I learned something from them all. I believe we were very fortunate to receive high-quality training from the trainers in SDF. All the trainers left me with a new perspective on the subjects they taught.
“I soon settled into the routine of getting my daughter to school and going to work, I loved it. I made many new friends and was learning every day. I was earning my own money and cannot express the feeling of being part of the world I experienced.
“I came to look forward to peer support and see everyone I started with. Their experiences with the placements and how they were coping seemed to help me a lot. Every one of my peers taught me something and I am very grateful to them for that.
“There were many ups and downs during the year, times when I felt it was getting too much and understanding the SVQ work seemed out of my reach. Through this I have learned to be more patient with myself and others, I have learned more about myself this year than all my years put together.
“This has been my most special and rewarding year to date and I am grateful to Scottish Drugs Forum for not only giving me the opportunity, but being a solid and constant support through it all”
– May, Graduate