Turned his life around…

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How Carl Wilkes, former resident at Vane Hill ARBD home, turned his life around…

We are in the fortunate position to be able to share the story of how Carl Wilkes who formally lived at Vane Hill ARBD Care Home, turned his life around.

When Steve Todd; manager of Vane Hill first met Carl he was told how Carl had suffered a broken neck and back and due to the severity of his injuries was not able to work which had resulted in Carl turning to Alcohol; in particular binge drinking. The level of alcohol consumption had also left Carl having multiple seizures.

Carl was adamant that he wanted to change his life, stop drinking, return to work and get his life back; he was keen to engage with the program at Vane hill and shortly after that initial meeting he moved in.

Within a short time, due to Carl’s dedication and the correct intervention and support from staff at Vane Hill, Carl started to turn his life around. He wasn’t drinking, was having less seizures and engaging whole heartedly in the day to day running of the home.

It was just before Christmas and Carl had received contact from his son who wanted a games console that Carl could not at that time afford to buy. This sadly resulted in a fall out between father and son. It also had a big impact on Carl’s alcohol addiction as despite the support offered to him, he decided to leave Vane Hill and return to drink.

When Carl did not return that evening, the staff went out looking for him but with no avail. They contacted the Police and despite them tracking Carl’s mobile phone, sending police cars and a helicopter to search for him they could not find him; people started to fear the worst.

Much to everyone’s astonishment Carl returned to Vane Hill at 4am the following morning, very worse for wear. The police were notified and Carl was given a caution for his behaviour and the cost that the police had incurred.

The severity and consequences of Carl’s actions seemed to make a difference to not only Carl but also to his son; this started a mutual understanding that things needed to change. Following this event when his son wanted something Carl would save his money and his son would wait, giving them both something to look forward to.

Carl continued not to drink and over time became stronger and more in control of his alcohol dependency. He was able to leave Vane Hill and move back to Stafford with his Mum. Every few months Carl would return to Vane Hill and update everyone on how he was progressing; imagine how proud and pleased we were for him when he informed us that he had been successful in securing voluntary work in his local hospital and had his own Flat.

On his first meeting with Steve, Carl had said that he wanted to stop drinking, return to work and get his life back; Carl had achieved all three.

The above is only the first part of Carl’s recovery journey as he has recently decided to move from Stafford back to Torquay and has asked to become a volunteer at Vane Hill, he wants to give others the belief and support that Vane Hill gave him some three years ago.

Carl on the right with fellow resident Carl Wilkes

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