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Tammie’s story: “I’m learning it’s okay to ask for help”

Tammie’s story: “I’m learning it’s okay to ask for help”

Having struggled with substance misuse for most of her adult life, Tammie has used her volunteering experience through Link Up to turn her life around.

Because of Tammie’s circumstances, her daughter went into her grandmother’s care in 2016. Wanting to be a positive role model for her daughter and to regain custody of her, as well as strengthening her relationship with her mother was a driving force for Tammie.

Through volunteering with Link Up, Tammie initiated some fundamental changes in her life. Where she was previously isolated, she built new relationships with people in her community. She has learned many skills, including first aid and food hygiene. She uses her lived experience to help others recovering from addiction by volunteering at cooking groups, organising nights and events, and leads a group on health walks to help improve mental health and build support networks. She also volunteers with Morning Call and Blether Buddies, giving socially isolated older people someone to talk to.

Tammie now represents local people and Addaction as part of a network of volunteers and agencies who meet regularly to discuss ways to change attitudes and policies towards addiction and recovery. Through this she has become involved in helping set up a Recovery Café and Drop-in.

The group will offer a safe place for those needing extra support as well as activities to aid them in their recovery such as arts and crafts, guitar lessons, CV and job application writing workshops.

Tammie’s commitment to making a difference to others in her community is evident by her graduation from Glasgow University’s Active Community Development course in 2018, and she was honoured at the 2018 Volunteer Awards with the prestigious Kathryn McKenzie Make a Difference Award. Tammie has recently been appointed to the Fairer Dundee Commission in the role of Community Commissioner, and is applying for peer support roles within the North East, looking to put her passion for helping others into action in her professional life.

Most importantly, Tammie is back with her daughter. She has been substance free and on a methadone programme for 24 months, and was granted full custody of her daughter over a year ago. Tammie’s desire to be the best mother she can be has definitely been realised. Her daughter has everything she needs and is performing well at school, she even receives Star Pupil Awards regularly.

Tammie has also improved her relationship with her mother, who visited Link Up to see what Tammie was doing with the project. Reflecting on that experience, Tammie said that her mother had said she was proud of her, which is something that she had never heard before.

Tammie has become more self-aware and reflective, and has her sights set on her future with her family. The changes that Link Up has helped Tammie make are things she never thought possible, but with the right support, belief, and confidence building, all have become reality.

 

You can find Tammie’s case study in our recent document, Link Up: Flourishing Communities

Donate to Link Up and help Tammie and the thousands of people in Scotland just like her build the confidence, self-esteem and supportive relationships that help change lives and communities.

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