158These are 3 stories from girls that have accessed the services of A Way Out:

Rachel* drank heavily every day and couldn’t maintain a tenancy or employment for any length of time. Rachel then started experimenting with drugs as her peers were, which also helped her forget past hurts. Since attending the recovery programme for nearly 8 months, Rachel stated that she can go a number of weeks without having one drink and has stopped experimenting with drugs. It is the longest time she has maintained a tenancy. From making these changes to her lifestyle, Rachel has started to regain her relationship with her family, which broke down a number of months ago. Rachel describes herself as ‘being really proud of what she has achieved, she is surprised at the changes she has made and for the first time in her life is excited for her future’. Rachel has since applied to attend ‘City Hearts’ in Sheffield, which provides a safe haven for young women wanting to exit their previous lifestyles and start afresh.


Abby* had been asked to leave a young women’s residential unit and was finding it difficult to re-engage with life in Stockton. Abby struggled to trust and communicate with others, wasn’t able contribute in a large group of people and found herself not being able to open up about certain issues. Through the recovery programme, Abby describes herself as finding her opinion has worth, not everyone is looking to hurt her and for the first time in her life has completed something. Abby is no longer addicted to pain killers, is now looking at the next steps in her life and is positive about the future.


Claire* first started to engage at A Way Out 2 years ago where she presented with high levels of alcohol and drug use. Her family history involved heavy drug use and sex working. Claire lived in and out of foster care and for the past 4 years has lived in hostel accommodation. Claire gradually started to attend evening drop in’s and 1-1 work and since April has been attending the weekly group therapeutic programme. Claire was consistent with her attendance, attending every single session, contributing well to discussions and playing an active role within the group. Claire is considering 1-1 therapy.


*names changed to protect identities.

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