A mental health nurse who is rebuilding her life after hitting rock bottom through addiction is spending Christmas volunteering at a homeless shelter.
Jade Wye, 30, was living in her car as her life spiralled out of control, but is now two years into her recovery thanks to help from the Single Homeless Project (SHP).
The Islington charity runs a peer mentor programme, pairing people with others who have similar lived experiences and can help them on their road to recovery.
Jade, of Finsbury Park, is now giving back by volunteering as a peer mentor herself.
"You have to really hit rock-bottom to realise that things have to change," she said. "For me it was when I found myself thinking about and using drugs as soon as I came out of a coma I had caused by attempting to take my own life.
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"When I saw the value of peer mentorship in my own recovery, I knew that I wanted to be one too," she says. "Substance use can make you very lonely. It is important to see that things can get better. Talking to people who have been through the same thing makes you realise that you're not the only one."
Last year 585 people were supported by peer mentors.
"There is extensive training and any time you need extra assistance, it's there for you," said Jade. "When I look at the progress I have made over the past two years I am proud and excited to use my own experiences to help others."
Jade is now looking forward to enjoying Christmas for the first time in years.
"Two Christmases ago, although I was with my family, I can't say that I was really present as I was consumed by my substance use," she said. "I spent last Christmas in rehab. This Christmas I am volunteering at a shelter for homeless women because I know what it's like to feel alone and without support during the festive period."
Jade also co-hosts an award-winning podcast named Hooked: The Unexpected Addicts with Melissa Rice, who she met in rehab.
SHP has launched a Christmas appeal to raise urgently needed funds to support more people like Jade in their recovery. To donate, click here.