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Rachel’s story: “Looking back, I can see that I’ve come a long way”

Blog Positive People - West Yorkshire 20 May 2021

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Rachel is now in her early thirties and lives in the Wakefield area of West Yorkshire. After suffering with a drug addiction for a number of years, Rachel has poor mental health, with a low self-esteem and confidence.


Rachel had experienced some challenges since childhood, including developing an unhealthy relationship with drugs and alcohol from an early age.

When Rachel joined the Hopeful Families programme she had been clean from drugs and alcohol for 12 months. She was determined to take control and rebuild her life. While still suffering with her mental health, needing support, Rachel wanted to become more confident and not return to her previous life.


Rachel faced several challenges while on the programme, which had a detrimental impact on her mental health. At the start of lockdown she felt isolated when everything was put on hold. This included the alternative therapy workshops she was attending to help build her confidence and the face-to-face counselling she was undertaking.

Rachel’s coach, Debbie said:


Prior to lockdown Rachel was making excellent progress and her confidence was growing and she was starting to shine.

Hopeful Families support

Rachel was given support around managing her debts, which she has now cleared. A housing support officer is also working with Rachel to help her to relocate. This took a little time as there were some housing arrears to be resolved. She is now on the high priority wanting list for relocation – this is something that will make a huge difference to Rachel’s life and help her move forward.

Rachel was referred to the NHS for support with her mental health and she was also referred to the local women’s centre for some counselling and to attend some alternative therapy workshops. The latter focused on creative art – making jewellery, scented bags and aromatherapy. Rachel also joined the in-house training programme on fitness and health. Rachel loved this, attending the gym and looked at healthy eating and general health, to improve here physical and mental well-being.

Rachel was extremely proud to have completed her level one maths and English. She began level two but shortly after starting, it was put on hold due to the first lockdown, which did have an impact on her mental health. However, she got over that hurdle and adapted. Rachel took part in weekly phone calls during that period. Rachel got herself back on track and has since resumed training and has also started a level two training course in adult social care.

Support from Hopeful Families

Speaking about her experience, Rachel said: “Debbie, my mentor has just been brilliant, with all the support and being there for me. As well as the regular calls, I was able to call her when I needed help or someone to talk to – that made such a difference.

“I feel that I’m making good progress and I’m positive that I can succeed. Looking back, I can see that I’ve come a long way.”

If you, or someone you know, feel that support from Hopeful Families can make a difference, please call 0800 334 5525 or email