Abuse and Addiction Are Devastating: I Choose Not to Be a Victim

Lauren Sherry shares a poignant family story of abuse, addiction and violence, and argues that such suffering needn’t necessarily lead to the misery of victimhood. From an early age I knew my dad was an alcoholic. He’d had an odd relationship with his parents. While I was raised smothered with affection, by contrast my dad Read more

Homeless Voices from Portsmouth

As a follow-up to her investigation into the growing numbers of people sleeping rough on our streets, Holly Wells shares with us her encounters with two of those very people. Roy Age: ’45.’ Time on the streets: ‘On and off since 2008. 13th September this year is when my landlord kicked me out. I’ve done the sofa surfing Read more

Diving into the Wreck: ‘How Easy It Is To Slip Into Addiction’

Portsmouth writer and Star and Crescent regular Will Sutton reports on Diving into the Wreck, a moving performance on addiction and recovery by poet Maggie Sawkins and director Mark C. Hewitt, funded by the Big Lottery. “There’s a murderer in my head, and he wants me dead.” Within five minutes of Diving into the Wreck, Read more

A Version of Death

Before she became an addiction recovery worker, Jane Muir was an alcoholic. Here she shares some of her darkest experiences… and that moment of clarity that made her sober up.  When I was drinking I didn’t really wake up, I came to. I don’t think I experienced real sleep when I was drinking – I drank Read more

A Life in the Days of Kieran, Recovery Worker

Kieran Judge compares days from two parts of his life: before and after recovery. A Day in the Life of Kieran – After Recovery I start my day with a protein shake: a concoction of kale, peanut butter, milk, oats and protein powder. It tastes nicer than it sounds. I’ve become a bit of a Read more

A Day in the Life of a Recovery Worker

Jane Muir offers us a rare look-in to the important work she does with the Recovery Café on Kingston Road, a vital meeting place for Portsmouth’s recovering addicts and alcoholics. I wake up when the alarm goes off at 6.45. I lie in bed for a few minutes and consider my options. I normally get up fairly quickly so Read more

Portsmouth City Council Releases Budget Savings Proposals

The ruling adminstration of Portsmouth City Council has set out its budget savings proposals for 2016/17 to deliver £11 million of savings in the next financial year, responding directly to priorities identified by just under 2500 respondents to a recent Council consultation, Sarah Cheverton reports. Some of the key highlights in the budget savings proposals Read more

Listening To The Silence: Remembering St James’ Hospital

Christine Lawrence takes a walk around St James’ Hospital, tracing the long history of the building and recalling her time working there in the 1980s as she wonders about the plans to sell and convert the Hospital buildings to housing. St James’ Hospital, a beautiful example of Victorian architectures standing proud at the end of Read more

On the Frontline: One Night Working in a Homeless Shelter

Local writer Gareth Rees gives a personal account of his meeting with Roddy, a recovering alcoholic he met while working in Portsmouth’s homeless shelter in the Eighties. I worked nights, seven in the evening to seven in the morning, at St. Petroc’s Home for Homeless Men in the old Poor House building adjoining St. Mary’s Read more

Altered States: Legal Highs, Substance Use and Recovery in Portsmouth

Poet Maggie Sawkins talks to Recovery Broker Leigh Tora Westmore about substance use, New Psychoactive Substances and Portsmouth’s Recovery Community. What got you interested in New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)? I started with cannabis and sniffing gas when I was thirteen. I then encountered full-on psychoactive substances during the rave scene of the Nineties. Some of Read more