Working Together, Through Treatment, Towards Recovery…

I first came to Aurora Project in June 2012. At that time I was self-detoxing from Methadone. I was 53 years of age and had been in addiction since my early teens. I had a desire to change but had no idea how to live life without drugs.
I shall always remember my first visit to Aurora, feeling very frightened and unsure of myself or my abilities. I received a warm welcome, was treated with nothing but kindness and respect and, when I heard of the peer mentoring training, thought ‘that’s for me’. I had a brief interview and was accepted on the next peer mentoring training course; since then, I haven’t looked back and my life has blossomed.
Becoming a voluntary peer mentor at Aurora Project, Lambeth, has totally turned my world around. Self-esteem began to grow. No longer did I feel a total failure; on the contrary, my history and past experience meant I had something of value to offer, something I could use to help others with substance misuse issues.
Within a year of volunteering at Aurora, I enrolled on a Level 2 Health and Social Care course at Brixton College which I passed! (quite amazing for someone who never thought they would ever work again). After that I enrolled on a Level 2 Introduction to Counselling Course in Lewisham. Aurora even helped me get sponsorship to pay for this course and, without this financial help, I would not have been able to enrol on the course. Aurora even assisted me in filling in application forms for sponsorship (as my computer skills were extremely limited at that time, a situation that was soon to change, again thanks to Aurora). I began visiting Aurora, not only to volunteer and see clients as a peer mentor but also to use their computers to write study assignments (I’d never owned a computer before and had always found them frightening). With help and encouragement from Aurora staff, I slowly began to build confidence and develop computer skills. They still mystify me at times but I no longer have fear around using one.
To bring everything up to date, I am currently coming to the end of my first year of a two year Level 5 Higher Professional Diploma in Person Centred Counselling, again in Lewisham. Also, in October 2017, I purchased my very first PC in order to study at home; Wow, what a journey and it all started at Aurora Project Lambeth, without whom, none of this would occurred.
I was a voluntary peer mentor at Aurora for 4 years and 6 months and only stopped because my studies demanded so much more of my time. Six years on from my first tentative knock on their door in Stockwell, I am still a regular visitor and am involved with the monthly SURG meetings. I have great affection for Aurora Project, Lambeth. Whenever I visit Aurora, I feel at home and part of something special.
Aurora Project is still one of the anchors in my life, a place I feel I belong and where I feel I am valued. I cannot envisage how my life would have turned out without Aurora’s help and support.
Aurora is a very special place. Long may it continue.
Paul Linton

Categories: Testimonials

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