What else do we offer

As you might expect, counselling, group therapy and other parts of the clinical programme can all be emotionally demanding and can sometimes leave people feeling tired, emotionally spent or just needing to unwind. It is hard work most days, so it is very important for everyone to have a variety of enjoyable, recreational, stimulating or diverting activities in order to keep people engaged, interested and balanced.  A regular structure and some realistic daily goals are very helpful for people whilst in treatment.

On a daily basis time is set aside for everyone in the house to sit and share three meals a day, and everyone in residence shares in the day-to-day running of their community, shopping, cooking, cleaning and buddying their newly arrived peers.

There is also time for catching up with your recovery worker, seeing the finance staff to sort out money issues, using the IT suite to access the internet, and, when the time is right, planning where you will go and what you will do when you move on.

There is also plenty of free time to relax, read, and many clients who have completed the initial stage of their treatment, choose to walk or run, cycle or fish in the surrounding countryside. (Please bring your own fishing licence and tackle if you are so inclined!)

There are regular opportunities to visit a local gym and take part in sporting activities. You can also get expert advice from our staff on developing fitness in recovery. Every six weeks, a team of Outward Bound leaders arrives with a fleet of minibuses and all the residents go out for a day of exciting opportunities – kayaking, potholing, climbing, abseiling, caving and exploring some amazing countryside. 

Once you have settled into the programme you can choose a variety of courses at our Education Training and Employment (ETE) centre. You can see a whole section about our ETE programme here.  Our ETE team can also find clients opportunities to get involved with the local community through volunteering – see more about our volunteering work here.  

In December clients write, prepare and perform a pantomime and we support everyone to mark birthdays, anniversaries and festivals throughout the year being sensitive to the challenges these occasions can bring for some.  From time to time residents also get involved in some external activities including AA and NA conventions, fundraising events and reunions as well as regular fellowship meetings in the evenings in local towns.

For those who wish to practice their faith, the staff can help clients to access local places of worship for most religious denominations. There are mosques and a synagogue in the county, and a number of local churches are very welcoming to our residents.  A private room for prayer can be provided, and halal meat is available if requested.   We make regular trips to Gloucester for clients, who want to buy food or other products from the diverse black and minority ethnic communities there,

The Nelson Trust has a weekly Service User Group (SUG) where reps from each house meet with a member of staff to bring up any issues they wish, particularly ideas for changing and improving our programme and how we provide care and support in the houses.  Clients also have opportunities to get involved at a local and wider level in representing the voice and views of people who use drug and alcohol services.   

When all of these activities and opportunities are added to the programme, it makes for quite a full week – boredom is not helpful for people early on in their recovery and we try to bring both structure and variety to each day.  Doing things we enjoy and things that promote our wellbeing are important...