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Rachel Story

Rachel’s Story

“It was the middle of winter and I was seven and half stone, I’d lost all self respect, my dignity, my children, and now I was losing my health. I knew I wouldn’t see another winter – I would die.” Thirty years earlier, Rachel was a little girl with two sisters, an alcoholic often absent mother and a step-father who sexually abused her. At 12 she met Chris, who would go on to father her three daughters and who she would stay with until she was 24. He was also the man who introduced her to drugs. ”I had these two little babies and I was scared – I was 19, still a kid myself. I had no support from anyone”. To ease the pressure and anxiety, Rachel turned to heroin. “It spiralled so quickly. I couldn’t see a way out.”

“After that I just gave up…”

Rachel’s twins were taken from her by Social Services and placed in the care of their grandmother. “After that I just gave up”. Rachel’s new boyfriend Steven became increasingly violent, subjecting her to horrific physical and mental abuse. Having distanced herself from her mother and sisters and needing to escape Steven, Rachel ended up fleeing for her life and working on the street. One25 outreach van became a lifeline for Rachel. “It was a place to go where you felt part of something and not shut away from everything.” Then Rachel heard about the One25 drop in centre. “When you’d been on the road in the freezing cold for hours and hours, it was a safe place to go, no men allowed.”

“I’ve got a life now. I’ve got hope.”

January 2010 was a turning point. “I knew I couldn’t live that life anymore. My One25 worker said ‘have you thought about rehab?’ and that’s when I surrendered.” Thanks to One25, Rachel is now celebrating being clean for three years. She is building relationships with her family, living in supported housing and has completed a GNVQ Level 3 in Health and Social Care. Rachel has also recently gained a full time job! “I know that I would not be here today if One25 hadn’t had some faith in me. I’ve got a life now. I’ve got hope.”

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