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Eight years ago OETC toured a production and workshop to a drug and alcohol treatment centre. The play presented was about a mother whose children were being taken away from her due to her addiction. In the final moments of the production, a client who had been in and out of the criminal justice system her entire adult life stood up and said, “That’s me! That’s my life!!” This was the first time she had encountered theatre and afterwards she participated in OETC’s drama workshop.

Once she left treatment she started attending our weekly Drop-in Drama workshop, performed in our productions and eventually began to write plays. Eight years later she is sober, her son has been returned to her and she is now an acclaimed playwright with commissions from major theatre companies. She is also an OETC Associate Theatre Facilitator and leads our writers group. She said of her time as an OETC service user, “Outside Edge, more than anything, has given me the greatest gift ever. Belief. Belief in myself and in the wonder of life itself.”


John started attending OETC this past year after struggling to maintain his recovery from crystal meth. When he came to us he was still relapsing, stuck in a job he hated and had lost most of his friends due to drug use. John felt isolated and lost with nowhere to turn. Over the past twelve months, John’s decision to commit to OETC’s drama skills progression programme has supported him to get off drugs and make positive changes in his life. As John said, “Shortly after arriving at Outside Edge I was confronted with a choice: move on to the intermediate group or use drugs, which would take me out for weeks or months. Working towards regular attendance has helped keep me to stay clean and (for the first time in my life) I have something that I am not prepared to give up for the drugs.”

John currently attends every one of OETC’s weekly activities, which amounts to at least twelve hours a week for him feeling enjoyment in a safe space. This offers John some head space and has helped build up his confidence enough so that he could move into a totally new career and stand on his own two feet. “Just like everyone else, I need a place where I feel I can turn to when everything around me goes wrong. OETC is a place where I am given the support I need by knowing that I can ask them for advice or to be signposted on to other services. I think there is a lot of value in having a place that knows about my history where I feel comfortable asking for help.” 


Aisha was a participant in our Drama Taster Sessions for drug and alcohol treatment facilities this year. Having enjoyed the session, Aisha started to attend OETC’s weekly drama activities and she now participates in multiple groups. When she first started accessing our services she was receiving treatment for depression and alcohol addiction that had spiralled out of control. She says that, “OETC has shown me that even with these troubles (or maybe because of them) you can be creative and successful and grow and flourish and learn. The people I meet here are an inspiration and it makes feel that if they can do it maybe I can too.”

Over the past six months, Aisha has learnt acting skills, started to write plays and even performed in front of audiences. For a self-professed ‘shy person’ these activities have helped to push her outside of her comfort zone and help her to build self-confidence. Aisha loves that through OETC, “I’ve made friends. I connect with people. I LAUGH A LOT. I SMILE A LOT. I leave feeling lifted and happy. It’s nice knowing that I am good at something that I also enjoy. If you are thinking of participating, then DO IT! You won’t regret it.”


After an overdose of heroin Sarah came round to find her son being taken away from her by the police. She had found rock bottom. Here she has written about her journey into recovery and how Outside Edge has been a principle player in keeping her clean and sober. Click to read Sarah’s story (PDF)


Mark, after relapsing and facing certain death, decided to have one last try at recovery. This time he found Outside Edge. Since then it has become a major factor in keeping him clean and sober. Click to read Mark’s story (PDF)


With nearly a year’s clean time under his belt, Tristan reflects on how Outside Edge was there at the beginning and carried him through some of the most difficult of times. Click to read Tristan’s story (PDF)

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