Second chance for addicts at ‘friendly’ Andrew House

Andrew House.

Andrew House. - Credit: Archant

Nestled away in a detached Victorian house in a quiet Clevedon road is Andrew House, a ‘safe haven’ for men recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction.

The residential home, run by Alabare Christian Care and Support, has been operating in this capacity for about 12 years, offering a place to stay for up to 11 men recovering from addictions, with seven currently on the waiting list and two new referrals waiting to be assessed.

Each person staying at the centre receives individual, tailored care from a key worker who deals with any issues they may have and encourages them to re-integrate with the community.

This has proved to be very successful, with two former residents opening their own businesses since leaving. Staff are also able to signpost residents, who must have abstained from drink or drugs for at least three months before being accepted at the home, to other service providers if it is deemed necessary. Staff also aim to move residents on from the home within two years.

David Rudd, a 60-year-old resident of the home, said: “I have been here since September 2014 and was really in the air when I first came.

“The team here have helped me get my self-respect, esteem and confidence back. We all call it a safe haven. It’s nice to just be in a warm, friendly environment.

“I felt it was the right place for me as soon as I walked through the door.

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“The people here really do care. When I turned 60 they gave me a big birthday party.

“They just make me feel really special.”

The home includes a spacious lounge, kitchen and games room and the residents play a major part in keeping the area tidy, carrying out tasks like cutting the grass and general cleaning duties. They also hold their own activities including a weekly pool tournament and a Bible study class.

Andrew House suffered a major setback last year after Supporting People, for funding, planning and monitoring housing-related support services, withdrew £150,000 worth of funding to Andrew House. This has led to cuts being made at the centre, with now just two full-time members of staff.

Tina O’Brien, service manager, said: “It has been hard to deal with the funding cut but we get a lot of support from the community.

“We really do feel blessed to have such a supportive community and the churches have been fantastic.”

Since the cut, Andrew House has had to find other ways of raising funds, including running a Christmas tree shop in Queens Square in December and running a stall at the recent Hope in the Square event run by Churches Together in Clevedon.

St Andrew’s Church in Old Church Road has been particularly instrumental in hosting community events to help out the home, including holding a Father’s Day carvery on June 21.

To donate to Andrew House visit www.alabare.co.uk/home/andrew-house

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