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Case study: Polly’s story

At The Camrose Centre we work with individuals from all backgrounds with different support needs. This is Polly*, a recent client here at the Camrose who has been facing multiple challenges in her life.

“My life had fallen apart”

Polly had been sofa surfing for some time following a relationship breakdown which led to her losing her flat and soon after her job. However; neither Polly or her boyfriend had lost the recreational drug habit they had formed. It controlled their every waking minute, eating through their benefits and dictating their daily lives.

“People don’t understand how hard it is to be an addict”

Polly’s drug addiction (coupled with diagnosed mental health problems) controlled her everyday life. Conforming to the “9-5” society was difficult. Appointment times had to be fitted round drug hits to ensure she was “with it” enough to go. An emotionally unstable personality disorder meant she found relationships difficult, and understanding boundaries and expectations was a challenge.

“I felt I was drowning until I found this place and a hand reached in and pulled me out”

The Camrose Centre was unknown to Polly until her boyfriend found us. He convinced her to come in and speak to a support worker. Polly was brave and laid bare her history including a troubled childhood and a long history of poor mental health.  An hour later a plan was made and Polly felt optimistic about her future although she acknowledges it will be a long road to get to where she wants to be.

“You’re not judgemental. You don’t see my piercings or my drug habit. You just see me”

As part of our support service our support worker helps client’s to fill in forms. Polly requested support for a PIP form. A time was arranged and she came to The Centre to complete the form. Polly again had to open up about what she finds hard every day detailing how her addiction and poor mental health affects her. At Camrose we try to use a strengths based approach to encourage clients to aim high for themselves. This is especially important when a piece of work can be seen as negative due to the content. Polly was pleased with the support she received; pleased that Camrose staff and volunteers treated her with respect and as a valued member of society.

“I couldn’t see a future for myself”

Polly has since found a renewed faith in herself. She attended a job interview and got the job which has increased her self-confidence. The future is opening up for her and it’s a privilege to be a small part of that success.


If you or anyone you know is in a situation similar to Polly, and could benefit from the support that we offer free of charge, please get in touch. We are here to help.

*Polly’s name has been changed to protect her identity.