Case studies

young executive

The Catalyst approach is non-judgemental, practical and friendly.

With over 30 years experience in the alcohol, drug and wellbeing fields, we are well placed to understand the needs of and help the people who come to us. We provide a respectful, personal and professional service to tackle the different issues that individuals who are suffering with the problems of substance misuse and mental health challenges.

Read below about how we are helping people


Mental Health and improved physical health

J was referred to the Welcome Project when signed off long term sick from work due to anxiety and deteriorating mental well being. We completed a Recovery Star where J set many goals as he thought getting back to work was the most important. With support J realised that he needed to give his mind time to heal before he was ready to get back to work. Read more

J has now set some realistic goals and has started to participate in the Waverley Waggers (a dog walking group – no dog needed!) and the Feeling Fitter exercise group, attending both regularly. With support  he has addressed his drug and alcohol use.

Joining in creative sessions helped to create space in his busy mind. He signed up to a local gym to increase fitness and is now talking about future employment possibilities.

Mental Health

Mental Health and Isolation

S found the The Welcome Project having just been discharged from a respite service. She lacked confidence and was struggling to have useful routines to assist her to plan her time and was spending most of her days at home in bed, where she felt safe.

She met with one of our team, completed a Recovery Star which produced some workable goals that set her on her way. S has been receiving ongoing support for the past few months and reports feeling more settled and able to cope much better with day to day tasks at home. She has started volunteering again and is attending some of the different activity groups.

S now keeps a ‘things I have done’ diary rather than just a list of appointments – focusing on what she has achieved rather than things not done.

Drug Misuse

Reformed drug user and offender

D was a multiple drug user in his forties who had served long term prison sentences for violent offences including debt collecting, extortion and drug dealing.

He looked certain to continue the pattern but after being referred to one of our recovery workers showed a glimmer that suggested he was fed up with 20 of the last 25 years spent in jail and they began to work together.

His situation fluctuated in the next few months with some minor offending but no further jail terms,  and he was stabilised on Subutex and little illicit class A use.  D managed with support to have a 6 month trouble free period in private rented accommodation. We nominated him to the Community Incident Action Group to highlight the progress he had made and he was offered a local authority tenancy.

He has taken this opportunity and thrived, described recently as a model tenant, and has just got engaged.

Alcohol Misuse

Working to resolve alcohol and accommodation issues

When we met J she was drinking heavily and living in a tiny damp bedsit in a building full of other drinkers. She was the only woman and was suffering abuse and assault, and the conditions were making her health much worse.

We helped her apply for extra benefits for her poor health and this extra money gave her the ability to look for alternative accommodation. With her situation more stable, and through regular meetings we were able to work sensitively with her and she began to see connections between her offending behaviour, her chaotic life style and her drinking. Finally she accepted that her priority needed to be to address her drinking.

We put her in touch with Vaughan House in Guildford, a residential resource to help people detox while providing a safe and supportive environment.

J is a happy and valued member of this community. She does not drink at all now and is looking forward to independent living back in the area her family lives.

Addictive Behaviours

Cocaine addiction

K was in her late with a heavy cocaine addiction. She had one child in the temporary care of her parents, had dropped out of art college, accrued many debts and was about to lose her home.

We helped her negotiate her debts to realistic amounts, and worked to keep her in her home by helping get backdated Housing Benefit.  We worked extensively with K to reduce her cocaine usage to the point of abstinence (her own target).

She re-enrolled at college and eventually regained full time custody of her daughter.

A little over a year after discharge we received a wonderful thank you letter for helping her turn her life around, and also a copy of a music magazine with her name credited as picture editor.


Work and stress

Last September we received a self referral from A. He was asking for support with building his confidence as he had been signed off sick from work due to anxiety and depression after suffering a breakdown due to stress.

We met to explore his feelings and then to think about goals and what his ideal future would look like.  He wasn’t looking after his physical health, eating badly, drinking too many beers and having a few joints to help him relax.

He was keen to complete a Recovery Star and set some goals as he felt ready to make some positive changes to his life. He has involved himself in music and creative activities and been able to talk about his cannabis use with his recovery worker, which is now more under control as he is busy with other things. He was then able to talk about returning to work and began using his IT skills to help a friend set up a business.

He feels more positive and motivated and has said that he wants to be back in work by the end of the summer and to continue with his new fitness regime.


Feeling part of the Community

When we met J he was drinking up to 25 cans of beer a day and using valium bought on the street. He had also used crack and heroin in the past. He had hundreds of pounds of rent arrears, court fines and his benefits were not being paid. He was facing eviction due to rent arrears and anti social behaviour.

Recently released from prison, he had a history of self harm and depression – and his girlfriend was expecting their first child.

We began to work with one issue at a time, at a pace that J could manage – the most important being to help him keep his home. He paid a small amount towards his arrears, and with one to one counselling made good progress and stopped drinking. Our team worked with social services to ensure that the new family could thrive.

J is actively seeking work and is interested in learning carpentry at college. When not job hunting he walks his dog, is decorating his flat, and helping to care for his son.