Our Stories

 We are proud to have supported over 2700 people across South Wales.  Our community is all about our people. Our stories show what we do, why we do it and how! Find out more what our members have to say below.



Hi, allow me to introduce myself. I am a 44-year-old married woman with 2 beautiful children, brought up in a ‘broken’ home, but very much loved nonetheless. For over 20 years I worked for a government department.  A responsible, demanding job which I did very well.  I was frequently tasked with training new recruits in addition to undertaking my own role.

I can’t pinpoint when everything went so badly wrong.  My father, with whom I had a complicated relationship, died unexpectedly at the age of 63. 4 years later I separated from my husband & children, lost my job and in May 2019 ended up in hospital as a result of my drinking. Through my hospital stay I became engaged with Recovery Cymru following a visit from Meirion, one of Recovery Cymru’s volunteers.  Following my discharge and physical rehabilitation I began to attend regular meetings with Andrew Sims who encouraged me to apply for the Footsteps to Recovery programme. I fully embraced this opportunity and despite having had previous experience of residential rehab (4 months) and previous engagement with e-das, continued to make positive and sustained progress in my recovery.  Following successful completion of F2R I applied for, was accepted on and completed the MILE course with NewLink Wales (now Plattform).

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In March of this year I took full time parental responsibility for my children, which of course included home schooling due to Covid-19.  This was massive change in circumstances with new challenges meaning coming together with the family I loved and cherished.  My children had not spent any longer than weekends with me in over three years.  My eldest is 12, my youngest has just turned 5. I would obviously say that despite their early challenges in life, my children are both happy, loving and well adjusted.  I have often felt near overwhelming guilt at the impact my actions have had on my boys.  Andrew once said to me that my children will see that problems and challenges are not impossible to overcome with the right support and this will be an example to them.  I keep that in the forefront of my mind at all times. Yes, there have been many challenges.  Life has changed, but I feel that I am better equipped and supported to deal with challenges now than I have been before.  A lot of what I have learned through F2R, NewLink etc is not necessarily new to me, but possibly the way in which I have learned it is.

My children have since both returned to full time education requiring them to return to living with my husband in a different county of South Wales.  Going from having 2 intelligent, inquisitive, busy boys with me 24/7 for the duration of lockdown to once again being on my own for the majority of the week could have been very dangerous to my ongoing recovery.  Instead, I have continued with training via video conferencing, am due to begin substance misuse training next month and am actively looking for volunteering positions with a view to returning to full time employment.  I have also enrolled as an Open University student and will be undertaking a number of their free courses in many and varied subjects.

The most important thing that I have learned and really taken on board during my engagement with RC is the importance of balance, appreciating the small things and wanting the positive aspects of what I have and discarding the negative.  There is nearly always a choice.  Hopefully now I will always choose the right way.