The mosaic piece, Sunrise on Tollcross Road, came about from a discussion in our arts and crafts group were we decided to create a large collaborative mosaic work to put on display at our Fullarton Service. We decided to create a mosaic from one of the people we work for’s paintings, drawing upon its strong colour contrasts. Working with mosaic tiles draws upon the ‘craft’ element of arts & crafts. It allows participants to either develop existing skills, or else offers an alternative to traditional art making such as drawing, which some people find difficult to engage with. A task of this nature draws upon communication skills, as other peoples viewpoints need to be taken into consideration. Furthermore, the sense of worth and value participants took in producing a mosaic work to put on display in our lounge was significant.The work measures 12.70m by 12.70m and is made up from 16 MDF boards of 30cm by 30cm.
“I’m not proud to admit it but I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a recovering alcoholic.
I started drinking a lot in the Bellgrove, you know I’d always have a wee half bottle of medicine, Buckfast to keep me going.
Every penny I had, I spent it on drink.
I was there for about 2 and half to 3 years. Then I was put into the Royal Infirmary because I couldn’t even walk. Because of my abilities and all that they put me in Eriskay house and then onto Fuster house, then the Southern General and then the PDRU (Physically Disabled Rehabilitation Unit). The PDRU was good, I could start to get back to walking again, walking round the car park, doing the gym in there but it wasn’t plain sailing, I still had the urge and I felt embarrassed about it, but if I was having any trouble I spoke to staff.
After that my social worker, who gave me a chance, kept pushing me and said she was looking for a place for me to stay.
Then there was this place here at Loretto.
They came up and took me out of that place and into my own flat here at Loretto. But when I came here I locked myself in my house, I had no confidence. I even said to my key-worker to put my bank card away because I didn’t trust myself. Anytime I did go out, staff came out with me. Other than that I just stayed in, I was afraid to go out at first.
I’ve now been in here in my own flat for 2 years. I don’t even think that way now, I’ve done so well.
You know, staff keep telling me it’s what I’ve done but I wouldn’t be where I am now without their help.
I did it by listening to staff and listening to others. I had no confidence whatsoever but staff here kept encouraging me and if I did things well, they would tell me and you start believing in yourself.
I also started hearing about other people who had done it and thought if it works for them how can it not work for me. I started going to the Charlie Canning, I listened to others and how well they had done and that’s how I approached it. If someone doesn’t give up on you like my social worker and the Loretto staff here, you know you’re not a lost cause and it builds your confidence. I wouldn’t have come as far without the help given to me. I talk to the staff here when I need to, I can talk to them anytime, the door is always open to go in and have a chat.
This time 5 years ago, I wouldn’t care about anything but now I do. I’ve now joined the gym and it helps me get fit and healthy. I used to always have a drink, but I can go to a pub and watch the game and not have a drink. I can walk round the bar and not even think about it. I go out myself, I have friends, and I can do what I want.
Advice? Ask for help and listen. Don’t be afraid to ask, that’s where I was, I was scared to ask for help as people might think you are a woosy or a wimp but when I did ask for help I received it and realised there were people in the same situation as me. Some people try to hide it and don’t admit it, you are better off not hiding it, facing your demons, don’t be too proud to ask. It doesn’t cost anything, it might cost you’re ego a bit but that’s all, you’re not on your own.
I’m proud of where I am but it is a work in progress, it’s an everyday thing.”
One day you were walking by and you noticed
this beautiful wee flower. But you were so insane with Drink ‘N’ Drugs
you got some weed killer and
Poured it over the beautiful flower’s head until it’s roots started to die.
You poured on some more your insane.
Now the beautiful little flower is Dead. Why?
So why do we keep pouring Alcohol ‘N’ Drugs into our Beautiful bodies just like
That wee beautiful flower our Roots will
Start Dying too
“This place has totally changed my life” – Stan Muir
Stan wanted to tell people about Loretto’s Fullarton service and also recently jumped out of a plane and parachuted to the ground to raise money for charity.
“It has been a lifetime ambition. It was absolutely out of this world. It was a 10,000ft jump out of a plane, 5,000ft free fall and 5,000ft parachute. I love the adrenaline; I loved standing on that ledge before the jump. I wanted to do it myself but I had to do a tandem because I’m older, for insurance reasons and I might forget to pull the parachute hah!
The instructor who trained me was ex-military, he was brilliant. It was really tremendous; I’d recommend it to anyone. I did it to raise money for charity, Yorkhill Hospital and some recovery groups. The last I’d heard it was more than £1,000. The money went to good causes, and I’ve been doing it and raising it all myself.”
“This place (Loretto’s Fullarton Service) has been fantastic for me.
If not for Loretto I reckon I’d be dead. Guaranteed I’d be dead 100%.
In here is luxury, it’s beautiful in here, I always say it’s like being in Spain, see in the summer, it’s brilliant. Why is it brilliant? Well the support and guidance you get and there are plenty of people to talk to. The things I’ve achieved in here are out of this world. My key worker is absolutely amazing; she does a 100% job. I even approach the manager, absolutely brilliant, you can go to them anytime, he is brilliant, really helped me out with some things. All of the staff are really, really good in here, always someone I can talk to anytime. This place has totally changed my life. I canny fault this place one bit. I’ve now had my review and I’m going to move on. I want to stay local, in the community and work in the community, work in the church. I want to get involved and help others with addictions. I want to work with the young ones, give them advice on drink and drugs from my experiences. I lost about 30 years with drink and drugs and I’m no going back the way. I want to start helping others recover. So I’m going to start volunteering to help young people with drink and drugs. Loretto staff are looking into that with me”.
Stan with his friend Alan Stan with Staff Nurse Bethan
Nick mentioned he wanted to do something different and staff motivated and supported Nick to seek out opportunities to try different things. Staff supported Nick to start going to ‘Common Wheel’ in Bridgeton where he built a bike that he now owns.
“Loretto mentioned it to me. I decided to go along and see what it was like I went along with staff. I’m sure only did it for about 8 weeks. Well there were loads of bikes outside that were ready to be thrown out, so the guy at Common Wheel said ‘I think that one is for you’. So I took it and stripped it down, took it all apart. I polished and cleaned the frame so a did. Then cleaned all the pedals, nuts and bolts, every single bit and made sure that it all dried out. You work on it a couple of hours a week; I did it on a Friday, doing a wee bit at a time. You then put it all back together, and take your time, no in any rush. The guy there showed me how to do the next bit and the next bit. So at the end of it you have a brand new bike that you have made. I mean it’s a small fee of £35 that covers any new bits and pieces you need for the bike, like for brake cables and stuff like that, so it’s not much as you get a bike at the end.
At the end I said ‘God did I do that, canny believe it’, you feel all chuffed, proud. I still canny believe I’ve made a bike. I really enjoyed it, a brand new experience. I do recommend it to anyone so I do because you’re always sitting in watching TV and staff and care workers say to get up and stand on your own two feet , it made me think and I have really enjoyed it. I’ve recommended it to someone who has been once so far and he said he’s enjoying it. Now I’m looking at other things, I went to a volunteering thing today and sent away to try a few different things like gardening so hopefully I will enjoy that is well. You have got to try things to see if you like them or not.”
Nick in Workshop
Nick with bike
Nick with support worker Mark
“I feel like myself and know myself now…”
I’ve been here at Fullarton, now 14 months, it’s fantastic.
Before here I was at the Fordneuk service for about a year and a half to 2 years, oh it was great. I was then in Kirkhaven after Fordneuk as I was drinking awful heavy and I had to stop. You know I thought it was great at the time, it was my own fault.
So, I came off the drink myself and then came here and that has done me the world of good. I stopped it all together, just myself, I made myself sick with it, but I blame myself, the staff did their best with me, looked after me, but it was me who was drinking.
Before I came to Loretto, I was out in the community. I wanted away from my husband. As soon as my sons were old enough, I had to leave. It was a hard, hard life with him. I was scared, I feared him, I drank because of the fear. I got hit with everything, hammers and all sorts but nothing happened about it, was just put down as domestic dispute. I know they are cracking down on it now, but it was no use to me back then. I would drink to give me courage, but I was still scared. I’m sorry I met and married him, but you don’t know these things when you are younger, it’s silly. I was born in Walker Street, born in the house in Partick, and then grew up in Yoker. I stayed in just a small house with my mum and dad, there was 10 of us, in an old tenement and I’d known him for years and you know, just started to go with him, and we got married in my 20s. I went through everything I did for my sons sake, I wouldn’t have them growing up that way. I went through it all for them.
After I left, I went and stayed with friends for a while, then the Simon Community in Maryhill, then on to Loretto Fordnuek. I loved it there, but I got away with too much drinking, but as I said it’s not the staffs fault, it was my own. I was drinking too much, wasn’t eating and was losing weight. The staff looked after us all well, it’s a well-run place. You should have seen the welcome I got at their 7th Anniversary Party when I visited it with Heather, it was a nice surprise. The welcome I got was fantastic, it was amazing. The staff are fantastic, they all said I’m looking brilliant and see a big difference, what a difference they said.
Here at Fullarton is great, they’re all good, the staff help you, getting out and about. I’ve been here now 14 months, I think it’s fantastic and it’s kept immaculate. It’s beautiful, I sit out here in the sun, wee buffets, healthy brunch, coffee mornings, it’s fantastic. The staff are all fantastic, they go out their way to do anything for you, even Angela is fantastic. Marshall is really good too, he runs the place really well. They’re all great, all the residents too, we all look after one another. We play bingo, snooker, pool, gardening, some go hill walking, to the cinema. I like to go to the shops, I like the Forge, it’s like my second home. I was sad to leave Fordneuk but here is better for me, as I don’t get drinking.
I now have a better life, more happiness, I want to stay here a while. I’m used to my family round about me and having company. I’m also eating better now, I feel good. They are proud of me now, they love it here, they say I’m in a good place and visit me quite a lot.
Thomas, my older son is a sergeant in the Army, he is in Ireland. Christopher is a British Telecom’s engineer and stays in Newton Mearns, Gary my youngest gets married this year in June, they’re having a big wedding, going to be lovely.
I’m getting treatment at the minute for cancer, go to Marie Curie on a Thursday. I’ll fight it, I’m a fighter.
This is the best place I’ve come. I feel like myself and know myself now, it's done me the world of good.