Julian Knight MP visited the Solihull branch of Changes UK last week to see how this ground-breaking charity is helping people to conquer addiction and combat the stigma associated with it.
On Friday 24th he visited Small Changes, a community retail outlet selling pre-loved children’s clothes to support the charity’s vital work, as well as a number of the social enterprises they use to provide ex-addicts with skills, employment, and ongoing support. Julian also met several people in recovery, all of whom praised Changes’ approach. In particular they singled out how the charity helped them find employment or found their own businesses, empowering them to live independently.
The tour was organised by Steve Dixon, who is not only the founder and Chief Executive of Changes UK but a Solihull resident himself! He also set up Clarity House, a residential detox clinic which has been delivering award-winning services to the community for over a decade.
Speaking after the visit, Julian Knight said:
“It was fantastic to have the opportunity to visit Changes UK and see the very important work they do, not to mention meeting some of the many people helped by their services. Steve and his team have done a great job of building a service which helps to break down the stigma attached to addiction and encourage more people to take that vital first step: asking for help.”
Steve Dixon added:
“We take recovery seriously at Changes UK and we know wholeheartedly that recovery is worth celebrating. Behind every recovery story is a family that has lived with the stigma of addiction too. We strive to challenge stigma by sharing our recovery stories publicly - demonstrating that people in recovery are from all walks of life.
“We repeatedly put a face and a voice on recovery, and encourage our graduates to share their story with pride, dignity, honesty and authenticity and we will continue to do so with passion and determination in order to be a voice for the voiceless. It’s simple really. Reduce the stigma, save lives.”