Sarah’s story, Fulfilling Lives project

Sarah has recently been released from prison for shoplifting. Whilst in prison she lost her council tenancy and all her benefits stopped. When she was released she had nowhere to live and no money, so was sofa surfing with friends and family.

Sarah has a history of heroin and cocaine use. The stress of being made homeless when she was released from prison, meant that she started injecting again on top of her methadone script. She has had a very traumatic and abusive history, with many childhood traumas and domestic violence relationships and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sarah also has many health problems, such as Hepatitis C, infected wounds, and incontinence.

Sarah was referred to Fulfilling Lives by her probation worker. She is now being helped to access housing, set up her benefits again and work with Evolve to get support around her substance misuse. Fulfilling Lives have also helped Sarah to sign up with a GP and get access to health care and antibiotics for her infected legs.

The next step is to help Sarah get access to counselling to deal with the trauma she has experienced in her life, and once she is more stable to access a course to help her improve her literacy.

The Fulfilling Lives programme has meant that Sarah has been able to access the support she needs to attend appointments and start working effectively with the services that she needs. Before Sarah worked with Fulfilling Lives she did not engage well with services as she has social anxiety and did not want to attend appointments on her own. It was also hard for her to remember all the appointments she had and get to them on time, which meant that she often missed out on vital services.