How ‘Recovery Champion’ Michelle Scott from Tyneside is showing her clients that change is possible. Sharon Barnard reports ...
“It helps clients that I’ve been there myself,” says Michelle, who until she met Jesus three years ago, was in a very dark place indeed.
“I was brought up by a single mum with mental health issues and I ended up going down the wrong path. I was prescribed valium at the age of 15 to help me cope during a difficult time and my life spiralled out of control.
“I started abusing drugs and was an addict for 17 years,” she explains. “I ended up in prison and my children were taken away from me. I lost everything.”
One day in prison and in a desperate state, Michelle fell to her knees, begging God for his help and support.
“The next day the chaplain read out a prayer at the service. It was the same prayer that had been read at my mum’s funeral and it meant so much to me. I knew God had heard me.”
On her release from prison she tried a couple of churches and joined a support group at Hebburn Independent Methodist Church. It was at this church that she met the minister’s wife Elizabeth Kelly, whom she calls her “spiritual parent”, who introduced her to Jesus.
“They saved my life – I owe them everything.”
Michelle firmly believes that it was having someone to talk to in a non-judgemental, supportive environment that helped to turn her life around. She now shares her own recovery story in churches and prisons to show that it is possible to break free from a drug-fuelled existence.
“I work as a Recovery Champion with the social enterprise First Contact Clinical and I run five support groups every week including a support drop-in from 2-4pm on a Friday at the church. It means that clients don’t have to wait until after the weekend to see someone. We can also give them some food to help them through if they need it.
“We want them to know that people really care.”
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