Wigan man finds right path

Steps to Success group at Work Sulutions with project worker and group facilitator Pauline Pointon ltr Mike Mills, Andrew Pickwell, and Neil McCulloch, and Gary Chisnall.
Steps to Success group at Work Sulutions with project worker and group facilitator Pauline Pointon ltr Mike Mills, Andrew Pickwell, and Neil McCulloch, and Gary Chisnall.
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ALCOHOL and substance misuse can often lead to unemployment, family break-ups and mental health issues.

But one Wigan group is there to support people who need guiding back into society after seeking help for their addictions.

Pathways to Education, Training and Employment runs each week at Work Solutions, a not-for-profit organisation, offering support and guidance to those who have had issues with drugs and alcohol.

PETE is a constantly running project designed to give men and women from the age of 18 employability skills and help grow their confidence and self-esteem.

Two Wigan group users who say their lives has turned around thanks to PETE are Andrew Pickwell and Mike Mills.

Due to heavy drinking, the 45-year-old lost his job three years ago, Now Andrew, who lives in Goose Green, has been sober for more than 12 months.

Andrew said: “I’ve been coming to the group for many weeks now and it has been so helpful. It gives me something to do each week and has helped me to abstain from the drink. It has also helped to build my confidence and made me feel better about going back into work. I am now hoping to do a course so that I can be a PETE mentor.”

Mike, who lives in Ashton, has not had an alcoholic drink for more than three years. The father-of-four has been unemployed since 2001.

Mike, 42, said: “I think I used to drink each day just to carry on in my life. I didn’t have a job and so drinking kept me on an even keel.

“In 2005, I went into detox and while I may have recovered from the physical illness alcohol left me with, I wasn’t offered any help for the mental illness.

“After being hospitalised again and having to go through surgery on my pancreas and gallbladder, I was referred to Work Solutions. The mentors helped me to stay off the alcohol. I was then able to start upskilling and gain my confidence ready for work.”

Project worker and group facilitator Pauline Pointen said: “I have seen how much of a difference the group can make to their lives.”

For more information call 01942 527775.