Vic's story: The Breakfast Champion

Vic's story: The Breakfast Champion

Every Tuesday morning, Vic is one of the first people at the Beehive, our substance misuse treatment centre in Bath. He will have already been to the supermarket to pick up supplies and he has about 30 minutes to get cooking and set up his Breakfast Club, which is supported by the Mayor of Bath's Change Project.

Vic has been running the Breakfast Club at the Beehive for around four years and he sees it as not just an opportunity for people to get a good meal, but also to meet other people and make connections. Most of the 10-15 people who come each week are people already engaged with the substance misuse service, but it’s also used as a drop in for the homeless outreach team, who will invite rough sleepers to meet them at the club.

For Vic, this is his way of giving back to DHI. About six years ago, he was referred into DHI’s detox facility at Burlington House. He’d been using heroin and alcohol for 18 years and he’s now very forthright when he says that if it wasn’t for the detox and associated support, he “would definitely be dead now”.

After his detox, Vic was given the opportunity to stay in Burlington House on a long term basis, and he knows now that if he hadn’t had that chance, he probably wouldn’t have maintained his recovery. After Burlington House, he moved into our move-on house, Barton Buildings, and then finally into his own flat. Overall, it took about two years for him to feel like he was back to normal.

Now he’s helping people in similar situations to him. The people at the Breakfast Club range from rough sleepers and people still in the throes of addiction, to people with years of abstinence under their belts. They gather together and eat a spread of beans on toast, boiled eggs, cereals and freshly made smoothies. They talk about everything from golf, to why some egg shells are white and some are brown. They feel connected.

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