Wendy came into service at Escape in 2009 seeking support for herself and stating she felt she could no longer continue to live the way things were. Wendy stated her husband was addicted to alcohol and drank excessively on a daily basis to the point that she was currently fearful he would die. Wendy was desperate for things to change and stated she felt helpless and didn’t know what to do to change her situation.

Wendy was identified as an ideal candidate for CRAFT and allocated a place on the course. She embraced the principles of CRAFT and began to apply them in her relationship with her husband and her situation began to improve straight away, she gained more confidence and was more in control using the strategies she had learnt. She practiced the positive communication skills and boundary setting/safety planning strategies which helped her to become more assertive and she was able to manage her situation more effectively. As her approach to her husband’s excessive drinking became more productive she obtained more confidence and positive outcomes. On completion of the course Wendy had achieved the 3 main aims of CRAFT;

• She got her husband into treatment
• She helped him to manage reducing his drinking to safer limits
• She improved her own quality of life.

Wendy also attended other educational workshops such as drug and alcohol awareness and also overdose prevention/alcohol withdrawal education. She now enjoys her life and participates in therapeutic arts/crafts workshops such as gardening and making hanging baskets and wreaths at Xmas. Wendy is a regular volunteer at Escape and gives her time freely. She has taken it upon herself to bake fortnightly for Escape’s carer coffee morning as she loves baking. She has previously done a sponsored swim to fundraise for Escape and is a regular attendee at training workshops and events at Escape and is currently doing Escapes peer mentor volunteer training course.

Wendy was asked if she would like to include her comments in this case study of her journey and her response was as follows; “Escape is a superb service and I couldn’t fault the support I’ve received”

Caroline, who had previously benefited from our support and CRAFT training went on to become a volunteer for us. She now has the confidence to support CRAFT maintenance groups and has gone on to befriend two individuals. Using her own experience and knowledge combined with the skills and understanding she gained on the course to enable them to have a safe place to share their concerns and implement changes they feel will make a difference. As a result of this she herself feels stronger and able to respond differently to the challenges in her own life.

“This has given me my life back and something that I can do and focus on to make a difference for others.”