Ellie, Kirsty and baby: A recovery story

Ellie | November 2018 | 6 minutes

I worked with Kirsty to help her recover from alcohol dependence. Today she and her baby are thriving.

Ellie is a family worker at the Orbit Project in Hackney, which provides antenatal, postnatal and holistic support to parents and families with children under five where the parent is struggling with alcohol and other substance misuse difficulties.

“When Kirsty first came in, she was struggling emotionally and experiencing high levels of anxiety. She had a long history of problematic alcohol use, including a period of dependency, and had suffered with depression for many years. Kirsty recognised that she needed to find new coping strategies as her drinking was putting her child at risk, but she was scared that she would be unable to manage without alcohol.

“Initially, I worked with Kirsty in one-to-one sessions while she was on day release from hospital. After a couple of appointments, Kirsty agreed to us introducing her and her baby to the stay and play area where she was welcomed by the creche team, the specialist substance misuse midwife and other service users. This is a stimulating and fun area for both mum and child and it helped put Kirsty at ease and helped her to start believing that recovery was possible.

“After a few months, Kirsty felt able to engage with some of the group sessions. As a result, her confidence as a new parent seemed to grow, as did her confidence around her abstinence.

"Her confidence as a new parent seemed to grow, as did her confidence around her abstinence."

“Having been with us for just over one year, Kirsty had a lapse. She was distraught and struggling to forgive herself. But her relationship with Orbit staff meant she was able to disclose this lapse and address it before it could become a full-blown relapse.

“Kirsty has not drunk for almost a year now and is accessing universal childcare and starting college. Her case is now closed to children’s social care, but she continues to attend one-to-one appointments at Orbit. Without our support, Kirsty would not have been able to access the main drug and alcohol service as it is an adult-only service and cannot cater for families or offer creche time to facilitate access.

“I’m delighted to see Kirsty and her baby thrive. They have both come a long way.”