Andrew Carlile found hope at the Salvos and is now giving it to others as a support worker.
SalvoCare Northern is a network of programs and related services that aims to support clients experiencing a range of issues including alcohol and other drugs, and those who are at risk of homelessness. Services include youth justice support services, crisis accommodation and transitional support for youth, adult and family homelessness services, aged and disability homelessness support services, emergency relief services, financial counselling, and alcohol and drug services.
Andrew’s is one of the lives that has been transformed there, and he shares his story:
My life since being in recovery is good, but before then it was horrific—I was a broken shell of a man. But through God’s leading, I became a client at Bendigo Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) services. Here, I was supported and able to build a foundation for my recovery.
Starting in the Building Bridges therapeutic day program, I moved on to the Positive Lifestyle Program and met Major Adye Viney (chaplain, social program). Next, I was able to utilise their financial counselling services, and then received help from the court chaplain, Shirley Gregory. Through these interactions I was enabled to address all the concerns
I had in my life.
I had so much support from the team that I realised I wanted to start giving back to the community. I began a student placement and applied for a job. From there, I was granted a casual position as an AOD support worker in the Bridge Program, and I feel like I am finally doing something of worth with an inspirational team. The highlight for me would have to be working in the program that saved my life and alongside those who helped me achieve sobriety.
I have always had a strong faith in God, but now I am carrying out his will for me. It was not easy for me to gain my diploma in community services due to my history, and l almost gave up, but my faith and the faith the Salvos had in me allowed me to find a way to persist. When presenting recovery talks to those in a similar place to where I used to be, I share that on my day in court I was not alone—that I had an Army supporting me.
The word ‘hope’ means so much to me. I use it as a prompt: Help Other Possibilities Emerge. I am grateful to the Bendigo Salvation Army and want to continue making a difference alongside them.