John can see his Better Future

John was welcomed into QMD Aspire on 19th September 2014.

Here is my story, I hope this gives you an understanding of my journey this far…….

“Through my addiction on 28th January 2014 I ended up in Barlinnie….again!

On my release I went to the housing in Possil and was referred to Aspire at Queen Margaret Drive.  I’ve been here ever since although; I did have another court case to go up for.

Because of that I was basically living in limbo as I fully expected to be sent down again.  I couldn’t even make a dentist appointment as I didn’t want to be halfway through treatment then sent away to Barlinnie.

A volunteer worker with Aspire used to come round with staff three times a week to see if I was interested in going to Aspire’s Peer Support Recovery Group for people in Aspire’s services who are caught up in addictions or with mental health problems.

To be honest at the time I was too busy using and drinking.  I’d been to AA and NA in the past and I wasn’t ready to go back.  I was also on anti depressants and was getting worse as I was sure I would definitely be going away again when I went to court.  Apart from going to score or going to the off sales I didn’t want to leave my room.  The staff team here are great and they understood my head space and “let me be”.  I knew they were there if I needed them but I was happy just to stay in my room.

A couple of months ago I met an old friend on the bus and he was on his way to an NA meeting and he gave me a “where to find” (for those that don’t know this is a leaflet with where and when NA meetings are held and start times) I just stuck this in my drawer.  A couple of weeks later my cousin turned up and told me I had a new granddaughter.  My cousin is in AA and on the 9th September this year she’ll be 13 years sober. The reason my cousin had to come here to tell me was because not long after I got out Cash Convertors got my phone so my family couldn’t contact me.

Knowing I had a granddaughter meant I now have 4 grandchildren and because of my addictions I’ve never even seen 3 of them and haven’t seen the oldest one in nearly five years.  Something happened inside me and I knew I had to do something to change my life.

For some strange reason I just couldn’t get back to my NA meetings – that’s where Aspire comes in – the Peer Group – maybe I could use them as a way back to my meetings.

When asked if I wanted to go along to the Peer Group, this time I said yes, I was going. I truly believe that was the one I was meant to be at.  Two guys in recovery done a share. One talked about what alcohol had done to his life the other talked about what drugs have done to his life. When they finished I was the only one who shared back as I could identify with both of them.

That night I went into my drawer and got out the “where to find”.  It was 7.20pm and there was a meeting starting just down the road in Partick at 7.30pm I was late but I got there and since then I haven’t looked back.

I’m now in the group in Partick and I also go to another group in Rose Street on a Wednesday night.  I have started attending a day programme which will help my ongoing recovery and abstinence and lasts for 11 months.

More importantly two of my sons which I haven’t seen for over two years are back in my life.  Last week I met one of my grandsons for the first time and now see him every Saturday. My other son (the father of my new granddaughter) has split with his partner but it’s just a matter of time until I meet her too.  Slowly but surely my life is clicking back into place.

Thanks to each and everyone involved for kicking me back into action.”

Unlike what you read here, my journey has had its up’s and down’s and through the use of Better Futures I was able to identify my goals and future aspirations. So here is where my Better Futures journey began…..

Outcome Goal Reviews

John's story chart 1 John's Story Graph

I presented at the service with multiple complex needs ranging from Addiction, Homelessness and Criminal Justice. In all honesty when I first arrived and was in the middle of my active addiction, completing a Better Futures Baseline and reviews were an inconvenience to say the least. I just went through the motions. In reality, during this period my focus was solely on an upcoming court appearance and yes I would be moving on from this service but the only route I believed was back inside.  I could not concentrate nor did I want to, on anything else.

Yes, I was in a secure and relatively safe housing environment. I was meeting with my key worker but my mindset was still on my pending court appearance. My mental ill health and my addiction were at the lowest ebb and this is evidenced by these latest Better Futures review scores.

Outcome Goal Reviews 26.02.15

John's story chart 2 John's Story Graph 2

Court Case July 2015

The day I could finally see my Better Future…..I didn’t get a sentence and I was able to make plans, follow my aspirations and look into the future. I now engage and see the benefits of focusing on my dreams and aspirations through the use of the Better Futures resource. Visually, I like looking at my chart and the progression I have made throughout this part of my journey. I am now an active member of Narcotics Anonymous and attend a group work recovery programme and the most important aspect is, I can actually see hope.

My last Better Futures review completed on 17th September 2015 let me see just that.

John's Story Graph 3

So what changed?

My lack of motivation was one of my biggest barriers and as much as the staff at Aspire encouraged me to become less isolated I was unable to do this due to the dark cloud hanging over me.

I had lost contact with my family a long time ago and my limited social network consisted mainly of negative peers. After the court case I met my cousin who gave me the courage to make contact with my family. I have never looked back.

This is where I would be without the support I received since Sept 2014

John's story chart 3


What was the best thing about Better Futures for you?

Seeing the graphs in black and white was a real boost. Looking at the visual graph focuses me on wanting to achieve the best score possible and achieve the goals I am aiming for.

How did Better Futures help you to identify your developmental support needs?

I knew where I had been in the past, this allowed me to identify areas where I knew I wanted to and needed to achieve to give me the life that I feel I deserve.


What as a staff member is the best thing about Better Futures for You?

It helps support individuals to identify their own support needs. It also generates the discussion over an individuals outcomes and the negotiation over where an individual is on their journey and how they are going to achieve their outcomes and aspirations.

How does Better Futures help you work with an individual to meet their developmental support needs?

It gives a guideline over what developmental support is required for an individual and allows the plan to be tailored to meet their individual needs. At the point of review the individual and staff member are both able to see how the outcomes have been achieved.

Do you have any other comments about Better Futures?

It can be very positive for an individual to visually see their own progress and even if it looks negative this can still have a positive affect on individuals and their motivation.


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