Recite Me

Karbon’s support helps service user on road to recovery

Karbon’s support helps service user on road to recovery

Many of our service users are faced with complex issues ranging from mental and physical health problems, addictions, learning disabilities, to those who are vulnerable, fleeing domestic abuse or are at risk of offending/re-offending.

At Karbon, we believe everyone deserves the opportunity to make the most of their lives whatever their needs.

Regardless of their circumstances, our dedicated supported housing projects team will help them to make life that little bit easier.

And, by putting in place a dedicated support plan, our colleagues can support their service users to help people make the most out of life and tackle the challenges they face.

One service user who has faced his challenges and is now on the road to recovery is Ritchie Wojciechowski. He has lived in his own flat at Holborn House in South Shields for the last eight years, but recently celebrated a significant milestone.

On Wednesday 22nd July 2020, Ritchie, 58, celebrated one year being sober and maintains the support he has received from the supported housing team has largely contributed to this achievement.

“I feel great. When I first moved into Holborn House, I was rock bottom. I was feeling very low and was in a dark, dark place. I became alcohol dependent to cope with my depression and anxiety. My support workers have saved my life. Without them, heaven knows where I’d be.” said Ritchie.

Tracy Blevins from Karbon Homes has been Ritchie’s support worker for the last four years. She said, “I am so proud of what he has achieved. Yes, we provide the support he needs but there is an element of self independence. He is in a much better place now and I have seen a huge difference in him.

“He hasn’t had much support from his family in the past and he is quite lonely. What really struck with me is his kindness and willingness to help others. He cooks for three other residents living within the block, providing a free healthy meal every Monday.

“During lockdown he helped us out greatly. He knocked on the doors of two other service users who do not have phones and were shielding. He put his phone on loudspeaker and at a social distance, allowed us to speak with them to check that they were coping. He also helped to dispose of one residents rubbish to the bin store for the entire time we were in lockdown while she was on crutches.”

Tracy visits Ritchie twice a week alongside another colleague, Ashley who visits once a week. They ensure he accesses the adult recovery service (for his addiction) and attends his appointments. They also ensure he is claiming the benefits he is entitled to and has supported him with his application to volunteer at Age Concern, which he will commence twice a week once lockdown is lifted.

Tracy continued, “We support all service users regardless of their circumstances – everyone is different and we develop a plan that is tailored to meet their needs. Above all else, it’s the emotional support we provide which helps us to engage with our service users.”

When he is not cooking for his neighbours or helping other people, one of Ritchie’s hobbies is doing diamond art pictures which he enjoys very much.

Ritchie said: “When I look back at how my life was, I was in a really bad way. I was rock bottom and I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now, I’ve built myself back up. I would be lost without the support I get from my support workers and for that I am forever grateful. I can now see light at the end of that long tunnel and I’m looking forward to volunteering with Age Concern.”


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26 August 2020

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