Stephen is in his early 50s and had been in recovery from alcohol addiction for six months. Believing he was going to relapse, he came to Care Network Hub and explained ‘I’ve come in because I want to have a drink, I’ve not had one for six months but I feel like I want one, so I’ve come in.’

Stephen is Blackburn born and bred. Over the years alcohol dependency has led to broken relationships and he’s become socially isolated. He lives alone and finds social situations difficult, struggling with anxiety and depression. Over the years he has been supported by numerous services including Inspire, THOMAS, Early Action Police Team, Step, The Wellbeing Service, Foodbank and has had time where he's been in and out of Care Network Hub too.

Stephen spent time talking with Care Network Hub staff. They talked about how he wanted to get out and meet a new circle of friends. Stephen knew that the hub had alot of activities but wanted to talk this over with staff. He found out about The Men’s Club, which was on that same afternoon, so he came back a few hours later to meet the group. Stephen stayed for the session, enjoyed it and came back week after week. Stephen reported that coming in to Men’s Club and speaking to Care Network staff has impacted positively on his;

  • Independence: ‘I’m going in the right direction and it’s good knowing my options'
  • Confidence: ‘This is the start of a new life, I will take it one day at a time but I’m feeling optimistic'
  • Wellbeing: ‘I feel like a weights been lifted off my shoulder and I’m focusing on the road ahead'
  • Connections with the community and people: ‘I feel like I’ve got somewhere to come to'

Making the decision to come and enquire at Care Network Hub, in a moment of crisis, and then participating in The Men’s Club, a peer led community group, prevented Stephen from relapsing. That day, Stephen experienced a sense of achievement, he came out and met new people and his confidence has had a boost. 

Socialising benefits both physical and mental health, boosts feelings of wellbeing and decreases feelings of depression. The Men's Club is improving the health and wellbeing of men in the borough. 

 ‘I think you’ve saved my life today. I’ve been able to relax, be my normal me, not looking over my shoulder. This [Men’s Club] will give me the chance to trust people again. I feel like I’ve got somewhere to come to, and it’s helping me to focus. I’m starting to believe I can get things sorted.’

Aims and Objectives of Service: Staying independent, reducing isolation, self-directed support and peer support, positive mental health and stress management, what's on in our community, self-care 

The Men's Club meet up every Tuesday afternoon - find out more here