Bideford project helping men recovering from addiction gets £9,000 funding boost

The Bideford Lighthouse Project has received Lottery Funding for its new peer mentor scheme.
The Bideford Lighthouse Project has received Lottery Funding for its new peer mentor scheme.

Users of Bideford Lighthouse Project have told the Gazette how it has changed their life - as it secures funding for a new peer mentor scheme.

A Bideford project helping people recover from addiction has received a £9k funding boost to launch a new peer mentorship.

The Bideford Lighthouse Project provides safe accomodation for up to eight men at-a-time who want to turn their back on drugs and alcohol.

And the new mentorship will mean anyone who leaves the house and continues their recovery can help others who are following the same journey.

Project worker Charlotte Davis said this will not only help those in the house, but also keep those further down the recovery journey on the right track.

“We hope to encourage those who move on to come back and give those going through recovery advice and support,” she said.

“They will support the guys and also come with us to some team-building activities.

“We had our first one last week and they absolutely loved it.”

And the new peer mentorship has given hope to current residents at the house, who hope down the line they will be able to become a mentor themselves.

Iain Harris has been at the project for three months and said it has ‘saved his life’.

He said: “I was in a terrible state when I came here, I had lost everything and I was lost myself in many ways.

“They give you great support and now my self esteem is starting to come back.

“I would like to take part in this as a mentor one day and maybe even work in that field.

“To say this place is amazing is an understatement; it’s saved my life.”

Another resident at the project, who wished to remain anonymous, said it had given him a fresh start in life.

The 24-year-old has been clean for eight-and-a-half-months and said: “My life was a chaotic mess; I wanted to die before I found recovery.

“I went to rehab and knew this was a safe place; the support here is massive.

“Now I want to get my self-confidence back and help other people, it’s a huge thing for me because it’s something I’ve never had in my life.”

The Bideford Lighthouse Project opened in March 2015 and residents are referred through a number of pathways including local councils, GPs and agencies such as RISE.

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