How We Can Help
⦁ Pre-treatment Women have spoken of several barriers to seeking treatment, and eventually entering treatment including fear and mistrust of the system, domestic violence, stigma and shame, partners who are users, and hopelessness.
⦁ In Treatment Women have spoken about the stress they bring to treatment as a result of the chaos in their lives due to the effects of drugs and alcohol. Problems such as debts, rent arrears, lack of ID, unpaid fines are just some of the ‘practical’ issues that accompany women into treatment. Help to sort these areas out would eventually reduce their stress and allow them to more fully engage in the therapeutic programme to address the underlying issues that contributed to the creation of these problems.
Women have talked passionately about the difficulties they have encountered when leaving Trevi House and Longreach, especially the 40% of those who have relocated to Plymouth. One major difficulty they face is the limited ‘female focused’ provision in the City. Women use the words, “unsafe”, “vulnerable” and “isolated” to describe their experience of attending mixed sex groups. It is clear from their testimonies that access to female services, or peer led support is a vital element of their continuing recovery journey as women. As part of the post treatment engagement staff help women identify safety plans, aftercare plans and support structuring time to promote recovery maintenance. We also offer access to therapeutic aftercare led by counsellor’s for clients who have left Trevi oand Longreach.
Throughout Treatment & recovery
⦁ Throughout Treatment and Recovery ‘Finding Hope’ is a dominant theme that has emerged in all stages of treatment and recovery, as women describe feeling alone and overwhelmed by their addictions, and experiencing disbelief that recovery is even possible. Women have described how they want to live normal and structured lives, within their families and the community, which would involve developing self esteem, self confidence, and self belief. They have voiced their dreams and visions of developing new skills, returning to education and/or employment, and creating a new identity, drug and alcohol free.
Aspiration – The ‘vision’ of how women can rebuild themselves and their lives. This is represented by the flower. Recovery Aspiration involves ‘creating hope’ in the pre, present, and post phases of a women’s recovery journey, so that women are supported to believe that lasting change is possible. The dedicated worker for Recovery Aspiration will be tasked with building hope in a number of different ways. This will involve creating a network of support both live and online, so that women can share their experiences of treatment and recovery. A ‘Book of Hope’ will be created to collect testimonials from women who have succeeded in treatment, as well as a forum for ex-residents to give talks and peer support to women still in recovery. As all the women we’ve spoken to have identified the importance of peer support in their recovery, the Recovery Aspiration worker will recruit, train and support women who have been through Trevi House and Longreach to act as peer mentors, which we believe will benefit both parties involved.
In addition, Recovery Aspiration will involve developing a collaborative programme with women from the local business community to act as mentors to support women in making decision about education and employment opportunities post treatment.
Capital – The ‘tools’ that will assist women to create change. This is represented by
the stem. Recovery Capital Recovery Capital involves helping women to develop the structure that will support a normal life beyond drugs and promote healthy integration into society. The dedicated Recovery Capital worker will establish and oversee pathways for women of Trevi House and Longreach into work experience opportunities, volunteering, and education and training.
The Recovery Capital worker will also lead with the development of a co-productive social enterprise as an off-shoot of our existing program called ‘Making Connections’ where under the supervision the women design and make high quality items with a variety materials and techniques such as textiles, leather, and mosaic. This group helps women to develop a range of useful skills to increase self confidence and self esteem that will improve their future prospects in employment, as well as create an immediate commercial opportunity where they can earn some money.
Resettlement – The ‘foundation’ for rebuilding a normal and healthy life. This is represented by the roots. The roots of Resettlement will support women in all phases of their treatment journey. The dedicated worker will assist women pre and upon entering treatment to resolve ‘practical’ issues that were earlier described such as debt, and ID procurement. Once in treatment, the support will continue in the form of ongoing budgeting and financial advice. As they prepare to leave treatment, the Resettlement worker will assist in securing safe and suitable accommodation, furnishing a home, and all the various elements involved in the transition phase of moving from supported residential care, back into their own home within the community.
Outreach – The ‘support’ that will accompany women as they enter and exit treatment. This is represented by the leaves. An essential element to all the components of the Sunflower is Outreach, which is designed to keep women connected. This would include face to face support, telephone support, and social media. The dedicated Outreach worker will be part of a team that utilises a range of methods to keep women connected. This will extend into the creation of a structured ‘Aftercare Groups’.
Successful long term recovery depends upon building and maintaining appropriate relationships which this group will facilitate. The weekly group will be overseen by the dedicated Outreach worker and will be open to women who have completed treatment for as long as they need to access it.
We are now able to offer a Sunflower Recovery Cafe in our outreach led space. This is a great space where women can connect positively with each and promote and maintain positive friendship and recovery community.
Who Will The Sunflower Recovery Project Help
The group who will benefit from Sunflower Recovery Project are women in substance abuse and addiction treatment and recovery who access Trevi House and Longreach. Whilst their primary issue is substance misuse and addiction (drugs and alcohol), they are a client group with complex needs and multiple issues. The majority of women within this group are also survivors of trauma and violence, including childhood abuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse, as well as presenting with a multitude of physical and mental health issues.
In addition, many of the women who access both treatment facilities are also mothers, and in the case of Trevi House, their children accompany them into treatment. Children of addicted women often present with a range of additional needs such as neonatal withdrawal syndrome, attachment issues, or problems related to the impact of witnessing domestic abuse and violence. Whilst the programme at Trevi House can support the resident’s children directly, the indirect benefits of Project Sunflower would extend across all the children of both services. By helping their mothers to find hope and develop the opportunities to create healthy lives free of drugs and alcohol, Project Sunflower is also improving the long term life prospects of their children.
We envision Sunflower Recovery Project as an opportunity to sow the seeds of change, by providing the healthy foundations for women to grow beyond addiction. By expanding and extending our existing services, we believe that we can positively support women to reach their aspirations and blossom into their full potential.
Finally, it is our hope that Sunflower Recovery Project will eventually reach and benefit many more women beyond those who had the opportunity to directly access the services of Trevi House and Longreach, through our long term aspirations to develop a sustainable and tested model of recovery which will inspire and support other women’s services to make women’s specific needs a priority, and therefore expand and create programmes to effectively respond to those needs.
Sunflower Recovery Project has been designed and developed around supporting four key areas of a woman’s recovery. The four key areas are all linked to building a lasting recovery from drugs and alcohol, and supporting and empowering women to achieve their full potential. For the purposes of Sunflower Recovery Project, we use the following definition of ‘recovery’.