Support our friend Honor! 'Honor's story' In 2014 we lost our brilliant Dad. He had struggled for a very long time with alcohol addiction, which eventually got the better of him. Most people know that when someone you love dies, it leaves a large hole in your life. However, losing someone to addiction makes that hole jagged and barbed. It complicates grief, making you feel guilty, regretful and incredibly angry. It is a messy, confusing and utterly devastating waste of a life. My Dad made several serious attempts at recovery – but endless stretches of time alone made it hard to stay strong. Alcohol was not just alcohol anymore, it served as a companion and a crutch for his profound social anxiety. In March I’m running for Build on Belief because it’s an organisation that I wish my Dad had known about. They provide a safe space for those who have struggled or are still struggling with addiction, and they do so in a way that is boldly unique. Firstly, they provide a service at the weekends. For addicts, weekends present a great challenge. The two days a week that most people look forward to can lead to a great deal of anxiety for some: how will I survive that party without drinking? All of my friends will be drinking, I don’t think I’ll be able to resist. Won’t my friends think I’m boring? BoB focuses on providing an alternative and constructive means of socialising at the weekend that can relieve service users of these anxieties. Leaving drugs and alcohol behind can leave a gap in an addict’s life – what used to consume them and form a large part of their identity has been stripped from them. BoB serves to fill the gap that alcohol and drugs have left with more productive and therapeutic interests, providing a wide range of activities such as badminton, art classes, music workshops and more. Many of the volunteers are also in recovery, which fosters a sense of camaraderie and hope that is absolutely paramount to those still struggling. Secondly, there is no time limit. Traditional treatment providers (such as the NHS) can only support service users for a limited period of time, which is often only for a few months to a year. What happens after that? After rehab, my father was sober for 10 months before he started drinking again, and many addicts know only too well that the second, third and fourth relapses come back with a vengeance. BoB offer consistent and unlimited support to those who want it, which acts as a life line for many. Finally, BoB gives service users the opportunity for meaningful and productive work. Clients have the chance to volunteer and lead activities themselves, which can be transformative for those who have been made unemployable and homeless due to their mental health issues and addiction. This acts to build their self-esteem and confidence by cultivating new skills, providing them with a sense of purpose and responsibility. Build on Belief provides a space where people feel understood and valued, two feelings that addicts are often lacking due to the stigma surrounding addiction and mental illness. By supporting this charity you’ll be supporting a group of people that are too often ignored and left behind, a group of people that have made mistakes in the past, but desperately want to be hopeful about the future. Thank you for reading! Please follow the link to my JustGiving page.