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David's Story

In the second week of January 2018, I awoke in an ambulance completely dazed and confused.  

I had relapsed again and had been drinking at work until suddenly I had blacked out. After a rather serious talk with my wife, I found myself out of our family home and staying at my father’s place. I knew I couldn’t continue like this and vowed to get my addiction sorted once and for all. I got in touch with Paul & Sue after finding the ESH Community website and they agreed to accept me into their rehabilitation program after a successful detox.

Upon visiting the premises, and meeting Paul, Sue and some of the staff, I had an overwhelming feeling that this was the place I could, and wanted to, start my recovery in. The groups, activities, ethos and the fact that the whole facility is peer led, appealed to me greatly.

david testimonial imageSince arriving here, everybody has been incredibly warm and welcoming and I was relieved to find that someone else had also enrolled on the program, and was beginning that same day. I instantly struck a rapport with all staff here, from the managers to the kitchen staff, and was made to feel both at home and at ease. The location itself is comfortably remote, allowing me to feel away from the ‘hustle and bustle’ and able to focus on my recovery.

The groups themselves, led by peer staff, are structured and informative, whilst being laid-back enough to remain on an interactive level, which makes it feel much more like a group dialogue than a lecture when in the room. There are also spiritual groups, containing different readings, meditations and acupuncture, which have been essential in my own personal recovery, as have the weekly one to one counselling sessions.

We often venture off-site to AA/NA meetings in the local area, and have even been taken to ones closer to our homes, which has been very helpful in establishing a connection for when we are out of rehab. We also go on shop runs, and have twice weekly sessions at the local gym/swimming pool.

On a more personal level, ESH has helped me achieve my biggest period of abstinence from alcohol/drugs to date, and it is due in no small part to the program here, the wonderful place, and the experience and warmth of the people who run it. I have never felt more at home away from home, thanks also to the comfortable rooms, and the freshly made food! There is always somebody here 24/7 on-hand to help, which is also a comfort, particularly at first when I was settling in.

In am currently in week 9 of my 12 week stay and I am already filled with confidence around how I will be when I am back home. I have learned so much here, not just in terms of how to compose myself on the ‘outside’ but about my own deep down feelings and emotions. Also thanks to ESH running weekly family sessions, my wife and parents are also aware of fundamental aspects of my addiction, and will therefore have a greater understanding of how I might feel when I return to everyday living.

I for one owe so much to ESH Community and couldn’t speak highly enough of the rehab/staff. I don’t want to think of what my life would be like right now without them. I’ve made great friends here too, with ALL peers, and I am proud and excited to be progressing in my recovery with them in the future.

Tom's Story

After my first stint in another rehab, I was taken in by ESH after a particularly horrendous relapse.

My hopes had been crushed and I was reduced to a life on the streets with a bleak future ahead of me, seemingly with no escape. This was until I contacted Paul and was soon taken under the wing of ESH Community.

tom testimonial imageThe second I stepped through the door, an unfathomable calm came over me. I truly felt at home and the warm and welcoming nature of the staff instantly gave me something I hadn’t felt in a long time; a feeling of hope.

From the food on offer to the general running of the deeply spiritual and thorough program of education, life skills and 12 step introductions, the passion and expertise at ESH Community really shone through.

The pioneering approach of the program being led by peers of similar life experience all to a positive, very person centered approach.

The quintessential English countryside location gave a feeling of serenity and reflection, allowing me to work towards a brighter future.


Kevin's Story

As I embark on week 4 of ESH Community rehab I am taken back to where my journey started.

I received a phone call from an ESH worker one evening in the Christmas break, he had received my referral from RP and what I can only explain now was a call from a caring and understanding man not only to where I currently was with my thoughts but mindful of how hard the Christmas period can be, he introduced me to meeting dates after Christmas the 8th January and urged that if I was struggling during the 2 week wait to call him.

I did not take his advice and as he said Christmas was hard, by the time I turned up to ESH Works with mum and dad, I was broken, battered, bruised, alone, angry and most of all scared. Tim guided me to the group and took my mum and dad to a different room. I cannot speak for my parents but this is where I had my eyes opened to a new world.

I attended these groups every Monday till the 5th March where I entered ESH Community rehab, my parents also attended the family groups on Wednesday offered by ESH Works up to the 7th March, they are now attending family groups dedicated to deliver an understanding and support for loved ones in rehab.

My journey with the service provider and ESH was a hard one as it was clear to me that I could not crack my addiction alone and hurting everyone around me so I asked to be considered for the rehab funding.
I am happy to say that I would not be here without the help from all at ESH and am very grateful for the opportunity, now I have never been grateful of much so don’t take my words lightly.

Eventually I earned my place and funding through hard work and staying clean but if I didn’t have my Monday groups and my parents getting an understanding of addiction on their Wednesday groups allowing us to live together as a family while I waited for confirmation I don’t think I would be here today.

Upon entering the doors of ESH Community on the 5th March, stupid, naive, broken and alone I was given time to settle in, take in my surroundings, the building and its grounds are set in the countryside away from loud noises, busy towns and has a calming feel all around the building. There is a very spiritual vibe that now warms me.

When I dropped my bags into my room at ESH I was broken, lifeless and angry!4 weeks into the program that somehow feels is catered around my needs I am rebuilding, growing and calm.

I struggled with people, places and things when I was at the lowest of my low. The staff have been warm, welcoming and knowledgeable.

The surrounds are something off a postcard giving hope and oozing with nature (life) and the program has helped me to understand me and with a peer led program you never feel alone.

ESH rehab program offers a wide variety of learning and activities based around recovery what also helps is this program is delivered by people with their own experiences of addiction from management, counsellor right through to the cook.

kevin testimonial imageThe learning is insightful and manageable with all my bad behaviours I was taken in and accepted feeling part of something, part of a community. This has allowed me to express myself which I have done on many occasions to be met with further discussion and sharing during  groups it has helped me to receive other people’s views and opinions often sharing similarities.

The balance between education, exercise, life skills, steps and allotment/grounds and meeting works well for me. It is still early days for me in recovery but I have learnt so much, from understanding addiction and recovery to using a washing machine and feel I am growing as a person given the tools to eventually manage in the outside world though I have a long way to go. I feel confident that ESH is the right place for me to be.

The very difference that sets them apart is their willingness, power and devotion to everyone around the program, my family, me, and others in addiction right down to the wildlife that greets me daily.

I am looking forward to my remaining 8 weeks and my action plan to entering the world and will be grateful for the after care and support offered knowing I never have to feel broken, battered, bruised and alone ever again.


Resident's Thanks

In April of 2018 my life was falling apart. I was a broken man and down on my knees. Everything that mattered to me – my wife and children were being pushed away by my addition to alcohol, yet such was the veil being drawn by the alcohol I could not see the hurt and destruction that I was causing to all those around me.

I had no idea how to fix my alcoholism and the destruction that it was causing. I was against rehabs based on the prejudices of my GP and therapist, what could ESH offer me that 10 years of seeing some of the best therapist could not fix?  What choice did I have? For the last two years I had broken my family’s hearts, causing severe anxiety to my elderly parents. I was barely living, in fact, I was just about getting to work and just existing.

In desperation I spoke to a recovering Indian alcoholic in the belief that our circumstances and causes of us being alcoholics was different from the rest of the society. He mentioned that he had spent three months in rehab and it had changed his life, he recommended ESH.

I made an appointment to visit ESH and my immediate impressions on meeting Paul and Sue was how loving and generous they were with their compassion and their holistic approach to overcoming alcoholism – AA 12 Steps, CBT and philosophy based on self-awareness and acceptance.  

It is impossible for me to put into words what the staff at ESH have done for me. They loved me when I could not love myself. They taught me a new way of living and dealing with life on life’s terms. They kept me safe when I wasn’t capable of keeping myself safe or making the right decisions. They helped me to see the reality of my actions and I slowly started to realise how self-centred and delusional some of my beliefs and decision making were. This mental shift is helping me to change my belief and behaviour and ultimately, change my life.

allotments 2018 web small roundedBefore ESH when I was lonely, I drank on it. When I was angry I drank on it. When I was emotional I drank on it. Now I accept all these feeling and have learned to process these, it’s natural to have these feelings, ESH has provided me the tools to deal with these feeling and turn to drink.

The therapists (Nick, Paddy and Sam) were fantastic and they made me feel wanted/special when they spoke to me, I felt that there was a genuine 1-2-1 relationship, I was their sole focus of attention and not just another patient.  The 1-2-1 time the therapists spent with me was incredible – it was like taking to a friend and not a therapist.

I was so fortunate that I found ESH and been given the opportunity to rebuild my life, All the ESH staff truly put their heart and soul into their work and it has made a huge difference in my life I can’t thank the ESH staff enough, it’s a debt I that I will not be able to repay.


Grateful resident

Simon's Thanks

ESH came into my life at the point of no return; I had attempted to end my life; a victim of alcohol addiction. At 57, I had nowhere to turn, a broken man, physically and mentally.

As a community provision, I had never come across this organisation even though I am an experienced manager of statutory health services. I thank God, or a ‘higher power’, or whatever spiritual influence was around at the time that our paths crossed as there is little doubt that had this wonderful organisation not become part of my life, my future was bleak, empty, meaningless and destined to end early, in abject misery.

simons thanks benchI had honestly reached the point whereby I had become so helpless and hopeless that ending my own life had become a serious reality, resulting in hospital admissions; a physical and mental health wreck, yet another victim of alcoholism. Like many others, the chronic and relentless effects of alcoholism had almost destroyed everything I ever lived for: my family, my career, my friendships, my economic wellbeing, my physical health and my sanity. I had known for some years that I lived with a drinking habit that was gradually becoming worse.

Again, like many others, I thought I could handle this myself and hide my problems behind other life stressors. I tried on many occasions to control my drinking but each time I managed to go a few days without alcohol, I was so fragile that my reaction to stress was to crawl into a bottle and wallow in self-pity.

I spent 28 days at ESH and went through a controlled detox programme followed by a daily programme of group and individual therapies and activities all designed and delivered by people who know what they are talking about. Why? Because all of the staff, volunteers and those associated with ESH, are in recovery and bring a unique range of skills, experience and support to prove that the programme works.

My short spent time at ESH has brought me to a new beginning in my life.
With the experience and support of the dedicated team and other service users, I am no longer helpless and hopeless but now hopeful that I do have a life and a future….a future built on solid foundations of honesty, commitment and positivity.

Thank you ESH…..you have saved my life!


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ESH Community
Holt Cottage Farm
Welsh Road East
CV47 1NJ 

Tel: 01926 811702
Web: www.eshcommunity.org 
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