Richard, a resident at The Haven

I've been at The Haven for three years, but this is my first week in the new building.

I think I'm going to be happy here. There's a market nearby. I need to get to know the area.

I am trying to get some coping strategies so that I don't go over my amount of drink in a day (I am on four light cans in a day.)

I keep myself going. I like the documentary channels on the TV. Recently I got a digibox and tuned it in.
Listening to music is my passion, especially Classical music. I also play the Bassoon. I used to play for the London Youth Symphony Orchestra.

The most important for me is not to get too stressed out.
It's when I get stressed that I want to reach for the drink.
I keep telling myself that really there is nothing too much to worry about living here.

Before I came here, I was drinking nine cans of strong lager a day. That was not living.
If I went to the doctor I'd have a can in the toilet before my appointment. Before I could talk to anyone, I'd need a drink. I was using it as a crutch.
I got very drunk a few times, and that's when I got sent here.

My life is very different now. I haven't really looked back.

Gerri, Richard's keyworker, adds:

"When Richard first came to The Haven his face was swollen and scarred from the many falls he had suffered. Over time his intake of alcohol reduced and he can now function in a clear, lucid way instead of through a fog of alcohol. He has made great strides since coming to The Haven- with time, encouragemnt and support we hope he can live more independently in the future."

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