The Client's Experience

If you are thinking about coming in to treatment, or you are concerned for a family member, a close friend or someone you are caring for who may be coming to the Nelson Trust, then you will probably want to know what it really feels like to come and live with us for a number of months.

On other pages you can read all about our treatment programme, our education and training, the houses, the environment here and the facts and figures about our service. On this page we want to give you the opportunity to read and hear the voices of our clients and ex-clients, particularly about how it feels to be here.

What are your first days like?

We asked some former clients what they remembered about the experience of arriving here.

550x309px62Every new arrival is welcomed by the Admissions Team at Nelson House and there will be a brief pause for some paperwork.  You will then be taken to your house and shown around. You will get an opportunity to meet your housemates and be introduced to your chosen Buddy (a peer who will support and show you around for the first few days), and your Recovery Worker who will work closely with you through your stay at The Nelson Trust, helping you to get to grips with the programme and stay focused on your recovery.

Within your first couple of days the recovery team will help you to develop a timetable which will soon fill up your week with a wide range of structured activities.  All our houses are staffed 24 hours a day, so there is always somebody on hand every hour of the day or night in an emergency.

A central part of the treatment experience is sharing a house with your peers.  You will be eating three meals a day together, and sharing responsibility for shopping, cooking and keeping the house clean and tidy. 

And what is daily life like? This former client talks you through a typical day:

There is a wealth of good support around you at all times, and above all you will find that your house, and the Nelson “community” which is scattered around the village, is a safe, warm and friendly place to be.

There is no denying that there will be some restrictions and expectations to live up to: they are there to keep you safe and are essential for your recovery.  First of all, there can be no drug or alcohol use at all, and any prescription medicines are managed by the recovery team in consultation with your doctor.  You will need to sign in and out when you come and go from the house, so that someone knows where you are.  You will need to get used to having only a little personal spending money and you will also be taking a break from carrying a mobile phone.  A full explanation of these boundaries and expectations will be discussed with you fully during the assessment process.   

Vicky remembers feeling understood and supported, but also challenged by her treatment programme:

Above all you will find that every week contains a balance between structured activities and time to rest, relax and socialise with your peers. Looking back, John certainly feels he made the right choice:

After completing the first phase of your treatment programme, you will have a treatment review where you will update your treatment plan with your recovery worker. At this point, you will be focusing on creating a sense of independence. You will have less intensive support and more responsibility for managing your time and your activities. The focus shifts from the basics of addiction and recovery to preparation for the longer term future – thinking about planning your resettlement housing; education and training for the future; working to strengthen family relationships if that is required. You will have opportunities to qualify as a mentor, to gain voluntary work experience, and to become more engaged in the wider recovery community in preparation for moving on. 

One day, you will be preparing your farewell speech for the Community Meeting – you may be surprised how quickly your turn comes around!