15 Larch Croft Chelmsley
0121 788 2093
Changes is a registered social enterprise, non profit making residential aftercare service, providing supporting housing to those who are committed and motivated towards making enduring lifestyle changes, who are at least 30 days abstinent from all substances, including alcohol, and who feel that they are ready to move forward with their lives.
Our aim is to provide clients with living skills through ongoing practical support within the community, facilitated self management skills and behavioural self monitoring.
Our project at present is based in properties in South Birmingham and Solihull.
“Providing accommodation and support to those whose lives have been affected by addiction – facilitating the transition from dependence to independence”
Support staff and Counselors will work alongside clients at the houses in group and in one-to-one sessions looking into the aims, objectives and needs of individuals, formulating care-plans for each client and assisting them in accessing external support networks: Specific counseling, relapse prevention, 12-step fellowships, drop-in centers, dental and medical care. Clients will be encouraged towards working in the community and toward further education to give their recoveries a firm foundation upon which to base their future lives and careers.
Placements at Changes will be flexible, but usually 4 months up to one year or until the client and the support staff are both confident that the person leaving residency is ready to take their place within the greater community, and has a support network in place. The service will look into financial and personal management and will offer guidance on the management of money and the maintenance of tenancies. Changes has access to a pathway to housing, so when we and our clients feel they are ready to move on to their own homes, we will assist them into finding suitable accommodation There will also be ongoing support to clients after leaving the house through regular after-care groups.
‘Changes’ offers men in recovery from all forms of addiction a safe and supportive environment in which to live until they have secured permanent accommodation or until they feel ready to live independently. People referred to ‘Changes’ are often those who are recovering from many years of living a chemically driven existence, invariably with chaotic lifestyles arising from dysfunctional family backgrounds. And for whom bed and breakfast accommodation or indeed any accommodation without support would be wholly unsuitable. The majority of our residents also face serious health challenges as a result of their prolonged drinking and/or drug use.
When a recovering person has completed primary treatment they will have a basic understanding of living life without the use of alcohol or drugs. However, many people do not have the ability or resources to sustain their recovery or manage their day-to-day life problems. This is where the work of ’Changes’ is crucial. When an individual returns directly to their former environment, which invariably was part of the problem, the tendency is towards relapse.
‘Changes’ offers the option of not having to immediately return to that environment, and with the opportunity to reside in a safe, drug and alcohol free environment, the individual will stand a much greater chance of making a lasting recovery. Support provided by ‘Changes’ enables residents to become more stable, emotionally, mentally and physically. Clients usually stay with ‘Changes’ for around 6 – 18 months.
The opportunity to discover and try out new coping strategies and life skills in a safe environment, means that if or when a resident does wish to return to their original situation, with their new found skills they are more able to resist the temptation to relapse and become dependent again. For those wishing to make a new and different life for themselves, support is given to achieve their goals. In either case, it is crucial that residents have a safe place to maintain their recovery and rebuild their lives for the future.
‘Changes’ is currently working in partnership with Midland Heart, so that when residents and support staff feel that they are ready to move on to independent living, a referral is put in and suitable accommodation is found. Clients still regularly come back to the project for aftercare and to give hope to those who are new to the project.
At ‘Changes’ we strongly believe that it is essential to raise an individual’s self-esteem.
Personal living space undoubtedly plays an important part in one’s self-esteem, therefore the standard of the accommodation ‘Changes’ offer, should and does reflect that. Those individuals lacking self esteem, self respect and hope find it very difficult to recover.
By providing opportunities to access training, education and counseling, residents are able to gain the self respect and belief they need in order to once more, begin meaningful and productive lives.
Each of the three houses are situated within a residential area of Birmingham and Solihull and are equipped to a high standard of fixtures and fittings. Each resident has their own bedroom with a shared lounge, dining room, bathrooms, toilets and kitchen. A computer with broadband internet access and a TV is also provided. This creates a homely environment conducive to recovery, rather than replicating an institutional environment such as hospital or treatment center.
Residents must also agree to abide by house rules and expectations relating to standards of behavior. As well as the expectation that residents will achieve some training. Residents are encouraged to engage with, and contribute to, the local community through all kinds of voluntary work. Individual support provided to residents is tailor-made to meet their needs, giving them every opportunity to recover and move on in the future. Each resident is required to remain drug and alcohol free whilst living at ‘Changes’.
‘Changes’ operate a zero-tolerance policy and residents are subjected to random drug testing. Anyone having concerns regarding fellow residents can, and would be expected to, report this in confidence to staff.
‘Changes’ operate a 24 hour a day call-out system; however, members of staff are not resident in the houses. The reason for this is so that ‘Changes’ do not replace dependency on substances with a dependency on staff!