Gary’s Story's story
Gary, a resident at one of our Ealing services, has a history of alcohol dependence and a diagnosis of liver cirrhosis. He joined the service in 2018, after a mental health crisis and time in hospital, and was in need of accommodation and support in many areas. One of the main areas was alcohol dependency. Gary would spend all his benefits on the day it was paid solely on alcohol and would leave the project to drink heavily. Staff struggled to get him to stay in long enough to talk and engage him in the programs and support offered. The staff worked together with his clinical team to agree on a support plan to consistently adopt a different, person-centred approach. They were able to offer the support he needed to make life-changing actions. They learnt, at this stage, that he had depleted most of his savings.
Several attempts were made to support him in engaging with the specialist alcohol and drug support service RISE, but this wasn’t successful, and he struggled to meet their requirements for ongoing support. Consequently, a financial agreement was put in place with the condition that staff would monitor and advise Gary on what to spend his money on. Once it was put in place, Gary was able to cut back on his alcohol spend and started prioritising his rent, food, and essentials.
At present, Gary has money in his savings account and drinks much less, eats more healthily and has more contact with his family than he did before. He is pleased the staff intervened with his clinical team as it allowed him to make the necessary changes to arrive at a better, more financially and healthy secure place. Staff have also built a good rapport with his relatives who live abroad, and they are very happy and grateful for the support that was offered to him. Gary is healthier and happier and has come to understand that past choices do not define him. He now participates in activities at the project and is looking forward to one day moving back into the community.