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Ex-service user is helping others turn their lives around

5 January 2016

A former criminal and drug addict who turned his life around is now helping others to do the same by developing services that improve their chances of rehabilitation.

26-year-old Alex*, who became hooked on drugs when he was 11 years old and often resorted to crime to feed his addiction, is now a Service User Council member with KSS CRC. He has been a key player in the development of their recent work, including a new role being offered to ex-service users, to connect with others on probation. KSS CRC and User Voice will advertise this new position in the next few weeks.

Alex credits KSS CRC and the Service User Council for his transformation. KSS CRC helped him to get the drug and mental health treatment he needed, and the Service User Council gave him a new positive focus once he decided to ditch his criminal past for good.

As a result, Alex hasn’t offended in over two years and has been ‘clean’ from drugs and alcohol for nearly five months – the longest period in the last 12 years. He successfully finished his probation order in 2015.

Alex said: “I was quite ashamed and embarrassed about what I was doing. My Probation Officer was supportive. I felt like I could be very open and honest with him. Because of this, I was able to receive the help and treatment I needed.”

“I hadn’t worked for years because of selling and using drugs and alcohol. The Service User Council has helped me to build some confidence and improve my self-esteem. I am taking the first steps to getting back into employment. Alongside the council work, I am studying psychology and volunteering with other people in recovery from substance misuse.”

He said: “I’ve decided not to follow the same path as some other people in my life. I feel that I am building a new positive future for myself.”

To read more of Alex’s story, click here.

The Service User Council, organised by charity User Voice together with KSS CRC, provides a forum for service users and probation staff to meet and discuss how they can improve services. If you are interested in reading more about service user roles, click here.  

*Alex's real name has been changed to protect his identity

** the photo is of members of KSS CRC staff and Service User Council members

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