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Posted on 28 July 2021

Alcohol addiction – using experience to help others in recovery

Donating a combined 300 hours of their time a week, our volunteers are intergral to the ongoing success of Acorn. 90% of our volunteers have either come through one of Acorn’s Treatment programmes, or have lived experience of Recovery, making their work priceless to us.

One volunteer, Claire McDowell, has told us a bit more about what being a volunteer means to her and what impact it has had on her life, as she donates her time to help others.

“When I first considered the question ‘what has my volunteering done for me?’, I was taken aback as I have never asked myself that before.

Personally, I started volunteering to gain confidence for me to face the world again but when I drill down some more it’s done so much; it has allowed me to see what life has in store for me without alcohol, it’s allowed me an opportunity to see what I want from life and to prove to myself that I am capable of living on life’s terms.

The freedom to be able to grow as a person in my own time without pressure has been crucial for development in life, my volunteering has been a safe space for me to help overcome my anxieties and eat away at my fears, it’s boosted my self-esteem and gave me belief that I can achieve something in life

But most of all its brought a new feeling of pride and dignity that I now carry through life. My confidence and self-esteem had been knocked right out of me over the years and volunteering for Acorn has given me hope and a purpose.


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