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Gilead is an amazing place, back in 1994 I came to the project in a complete mess with years of addictions alongside family breakdown, child abduction, false identity, bad learnt behaviour. After a few years a lot of issues were unlocked, I was given hope, learnt positive behaviour, and gradually found my identity. Through time I have managed to turn my life around and to become successful in daily life. During my time there I gained custody of my children again, and now enjoy happy and healthy family relationships. I owe this all to Gilead and the team, especially Ian and Bron.
Testimony from someone who came to Gilead with her family over 20 years ago...."At the age of five, My dad took the first step into facing his addiction by going to Gilead. It was lovely to then be able to join him with my mum and siblings to be a family again. All the memories I take from Gilead arent ones of my dad recovering from an addiction, but are instead positive memories of a fun childhood living on a farm among a wonderful supportive community. We then left Gilead a stronger family. I truly believe my Dad would not be the person he is today if it wasn't for Ian and Bron and the program at Gilead".
Would you please consider supporting us as we build a new female house to expand the work and enhance the quality of rehab for our female clients - some of whom we are able to accommodate with babies, who also need to have warmth, security and a loving environment while Mum gets her life back on an even keel, for good.
"I have been an addict since the age of 12. Same old story - in and out of jail, girlfriends, kids, no sense of responsibility. I got into class A drugs when I was about 16 or 17 and ended up on Heroin. I tried several rehabs and twelve step programmes without much success.
Then in 2005 I injected into my groin and missed the vein. This resulted in a lot of complications and I ended up in hospital. I had two blood clots, no white blood cells and a collapsed lung. I should have died. Somehow I survived. I knew people who were Christians who were praying for me.
Despite this experience I still didnít stop using. In 2008 I was looking for a rehab again. I didnít want another twelve-step programme and I remembered some of the Christians Iíd come across in my life. I realised that they still had problems like everyone else but they seemed to cope with them and keep on smiling. I looked for a Christian rehab and found Gilead who they said they would do a detox, so I chose them.
I didnít quite get it the first time I went to Gilead. I kept too many secrets and wasnít open and honest. However I did meet my future wife. Iíd always said that I would never marry because of experiences in my own familyís life but I eventually changed my mind. I left Gilead with her and I tried coping. Things werenít going well.
We decided to give Gilead another try. We got married on 8th July 2011 and returned to Gilead on 19th July as a married couple. I decided to be open and honest this time round, taking the programme seriously.
I took the ďGenesis Relapse Prevention ProcessĒ seriously and found that it really does help if done properly. I released a lot of anger hurt and resentment that I had been holding onto since childhood days. I forgave others and asked for forgiveness myself. It was like the weight of a dead horse had been lifted off my shoulders - quite a release!
I want to be able to give back to people what Iíve got from this place.
Gary has completed the programme at Gilead, married a lady who also completed the programme, and they have had a healthy baby. They have been working full-time, in great health, and have their own home.
"I arrived at Gilead in October 2012 addicted to drugs and alcohol. My life was in a complete mess. Following my marriage breakdown I had left my house and business in France to return to UK and "start again". Unfortunately "starting again" was just another relapse into full-blown addiction. My life was total chaos.
I had tried numerous rehabs before, and although they worked for a period of time, I always relapsed eventually. I know now that the reason this kept happening was because I hadnt dealt with the deeper issues I had and had not given myself time to heal properly. Gilead has given me all the love, support, time and encouragement to work through these things and come out the other side!
Gradually I began to get somewhere, and my life started to improve. I have the encouragement and support of my two daughters who come and stay regularly and think of Gilead as their home too and are relieved to have their mum back. My mother sleeps well at night free of stress and anxiety knowing I am safe and well.
During my recovery programme at Gilead I have taken up gardening. I am also on a course with the RHS at Rosemoor one day a week, studying Horticulture via distance learning. I finally have a future to look forward to free of addiction. Something I really didn't think was possible.
Gardening calms my mind. The thoughts inside my head somehow clear and settle and it makes me feel good. Whether it be weeding, mowing the lawns, re-potting plants, taking cuttings or planning new gardens. It gives me somewhere peaceful to escape to, be at one with nature and alleviates my stress and gives me time to think away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Being at Gilead has quite literally changed my life. I have learnt so many things and although I still have bad days with the love, help and support of the staff and my fellow clients I get through them.
I arrived at Gilead Foundations January 1995, I had just given my life to Jesus, but due to my long term drug abuse background I had a lot of problems. I was also pregnant, and very fearful of my future as a single parent. My life had been full of drug abuse; I'd looked for love in failed relationships, parties, travel and wild living. I hated this life style but didn't know how to get away from it.
It all started when my dad left our family when I was 16. Due to anguish and hurt my brother and I dropped out of life and spent the next nearly two decades filling the empty spaces with drugs. 17 years later and I was stuck fast in a lifestyle that I knew no way out of.
I heard about Gilead and came to live there, I needed help and support. I received a lot of healing. I learnt to live this new life through God's help and amazing support. A family setting is one of the Gileads principles:
"God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land." Psalm 68:6
First I was on the program at Gilead which helped me to rebuild my life; I began to take up my responsibilities, and learn new practical skills. After being on the program I went on to work as a staff member at the girl's house. My daughter was born while I was living at Gilead in 1995. We had a wonderful start to our new lives. I live in Cornwall now, my daughter has grown up and is now at university. I am truly grateful to God and the family of Gilead, my life is a success because of this. Thank you Ian and Bron and the family of Gilead.
Pamela originally came to Gilead in 2007, addicted to heroin and self harm. Prior to coming to Gilead she had found that her life in Plymouth just wasn’t happy and at times she felt absolutely miserable. She turned to Heroin because she says that she didn’t know anything better. Her mum arranged for her to come to Gilead. Pam did well with her recovery and completed all three phases of the programme. Practically, she milked cows and also helped with administration.
She then went on to become a volunteer as an administrative assistant.
Pamela had to put some effort in but she’s realised that it’s the most important thing and is now living a more happier and successful, fulfiling lifestyle. She is now living in her own home in a local town with her toddler, Noah, and is doing an Open University degree in Psychology. We are still here to support her, and she comes in one day a week to volunteer with reception duties.
"Coming to Gilead feels as though I've woken up from a living nightmare - addiction led me into crime, selfish dishonesty and abandoning my wife and 3 children. By following the 'Genesis' process I have been given the tools to recognise and change the compulsive behaviours that have caused so much pain to myself and those around me.
I've tried to change too many times, but my way has never worked - just got me into more trouble. Becoming desperate enough to submit to a higher authority than my own has been key to beginning a life in recovery. Now I can trust God to lead me into making wise choices and living free from the destructive habits that have bound me for so long."
My life was falling apart due to my alcohol addiction. I was really just living to drink.
Help was offered from many sources both through family, friends and Croydon Council but I paid these offers only lip service as I just wanted to drink. Home life was falling apart and my mother was suffering beyond belief. It must be soul destroying watching your son falling apart. Every time she went out she never knew what state she would find me in when she returned. Mum could never take a holiday because on numerous occasions she would come home and find me in a right state.
On many occasions mum resorted out of desperation to calling the paramedics to check on me, and I would find myself coming to in ambulances or in A & E. Because the NHS can do very little to help someone in this state they just waited until I was a bit more stable and then sent me home.
When I was ready to look for help, Gilead looked very suitable on the face of it as it is offered work therapy on Risdon Farm - I had always worked except when unfit through drink, and was Christian based which did not fill me with dread as although I myself wasn't a believer, my family were.
It was a long road journey made all the worse by the fact I was still detoxing from my last drinking spree. But something strange happened when we pulled onto the farm; I felt that although I had not met anyone or any real idea of the set up, this was the place I was supposed to be.
During my first 20 weeks I realised that Ian and his wife Bron spoke about things missing in my life. This concerned me and after talking to staff and fellow students decided to get to know God for myself and become a christian. I and two fellow students were baptised one Sunday morning in what must have been the coldest stream on Dartmoor! This was the start of the next great transformation in my life. Now I have an assurance that I am not alone in my struggle through life.
Trevor went on to become a community member for a number of months, and be responsible for a lot of the maintenance tasks on site, before accepting a job and moving nearer his family. He is still sober and we remain in consistent contact with him to support him.