Christmas should be a magical time where friends and families come together to create wonderful memories that they will cherish forever. However, this is simply not the reality for thousands of individuals facing multiple disadvantage right here in our local communities.
Each year, The Nelson Trust helps individuals to overcome severe substance misuse disorders, break free from abusive relationships, improve their poor mental health, recognise the signs of child sexual exploitation, address homelessness, and much more. We believe that everyone comes to us with the capacity to put their past behind them and to enjoy lifelong recovery, freedom and happiness. That’s why we’re launching our Together for Christmas Appeal.
Our Together for Christmas campaign seeks to raise the vital funds needed to provide individuals who are destitute, lonely, unwell, and in real physical danger with the emotional and practical support that they need in order to recover and reunite with their nearest and dearest in time for next Christmas.
Nobody deserves to be alone at Christmas. This Christmas, why not give a gift that has the potential to change lives and bring families together for many Christmases to come?
My battle with addiction began at a very young age. I was severely misusing substances and was dependent on injecting crack cocaine and heroin by the time I was a teenager.
I first went to prison at the age of 16. Although prison gave me a chance to get clean for the duration of my sentence, I relapsed almost as soon as I was released. In order to feed my addiction, I returned to crime. Consequently, I spent much of my adult life in and out of the penal system, never having the support nor opportunity to fully tackle my dependency.
My life was chaotic. My daughter was removed from my custody and was placed into the care of my mum. My siblings struggled to cope with my mania and cut contact with me. I was alone, terrified, and seriously unwell.
December was always the most depressing month. Not only did I miss my daughter’s birthday, but I also missed our family Christmases. I tried to numb the pain by self-medicating with substances, it never worked. I needed help.
I came to The Nelson Trust in February 2017. I was at breaking point; my mental health was in crisis and I didn’t want to live any more.
Over the course of my stay, the Trust transformed my life. Not only did they help me to recover from addiction, they supported me to manage my mental wellbeing, gave me a place in a resettlement house when I completed treatment, and offered me paid employment at one of their community enterprises.
Two weeks ago, I visited my daughter on her birthday and took her to the local shops. It was incredible to spend some quality together and now, for the first time in 25 years, I’m really looking forward to Christmas. This year, I’m spending Christmas with my mum, my daughter, my four siblings, and my nieces and nephews. We are all going to my mum’s house for Christmas dinner, she’s the best cook. She’s gone overboard with the decorations and we keep making jokes that we’ll have to duck to get into the house.
At the height of my addiction, I didn’t think I’d be around to see any more Christmases. Now, I’ve never felt happier or more comfortable in my own skin. Being together for Christmas means everything to me.
Thank you for helping me to change my life. Please donate anything you can so that others can do the same.
We couldn’t do what we do without the generosity of our supporters, that’s why we hope that you may consider donating to our Together for Christmas Appeal.
Of course, your family and loved ones come first at Christmas but we hope that, once you have gifted for them, you may consider sending a gift to The Nelson Trust so that we can continue to transform the lives of the most vulnerable individuals in our societies.
You can donate to our Together for Christmas Appeal in one of 3 ways:
- Firstly, you could write a cheque addressed to The Nelson Trust.
- Secondly, you could donate via our JustGiving Page which can be found here.
- Finally, you could text NELSON to 70085 followed by £5, £10, or £20.
Thank you so much for your continued support, it really does make a huge difference