My second chance
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I came out of prison on 4th September 2014. I had been serving 18 months for an offence of Arson. On my release i had to reside at Adelaide House in Liverpool for a period of 3 months. My mum was happy that i was going somewhere safe and secure to live. It was my first time in Liverpool and i didn't know what to expect of Adelaide House.
I was petrified when i arrivved as i had heard some bad stories from the girls in prison.
When i arrived, i was welcomed into the office and offered a drink (alcohol free), was given a tour of the house, was shown to my room , given a dressing gown, toiletries, bedding and a room key. I was even offered clothes as i didn't have many. After being made to feel welcome and completing some paperwork, i began to relax and after a hot meal and a shower i sat in the lounge with the other girls and watched the soaps. I knew some of the girls from prison so this helped me feel comfortable. I had a brilliant nights sleep in a warm and comfy bed and i slept all night.
When i got up in the morning, i had a shower, some breakfast and then it was time for the house meeting. We have a house meeting at 9am each weekday. In the meeting, staff confirm what appointments we have, what groups we have to attend, complete the menu for lunch and tea, distribute mail and discuss any issues or concerns that we may have. After the meeting, we do our chores: mopping, hoovering or whatever it may be. I was then assisted to make a claim with the DWP for benefits and applied for an urgent need grant with liverpool city council. The council offer grants if you are in need of clothes, toiletries etc. after being released from prison.
The next step was to register with the doctors and then i was taken to an initial appointment to get my medication and a sick note. After i had done everything that was required of me, i was able to spend the rest of the day with my family.
Unfortunately, after 2 weeks, i began drinking again and was even sneaking alcohol into the premises. I was caught doing this and received warnings from both Adelaide House and my probation officer. I felt awful, i was embarrassed and ashamed but the drink had got a hold of me and it soon got out of hand. Not long later, i was recalled back to prison.
When i found out that i was being recalled, i s*** myself. I didn't want to let my mum down, again.
On returning to prison, i thought i was just going to do 28 days but due to my offence, i wasn't entitled to 28 days and was told that i would be serving 14 months.
I spent 8 months at HMP Styal and the other 6 at HMP New Hall. I was really disappointed with myself, as when i was in Adelaide, i had felt safe and secure. The staff and management had been really supportive.
On 26th August 2016, i was released from prison and was given a second chance at Adelaide House. I was determined that this time, i was going to change. I wasn't going to return to alcohol.
I felt a little embarrassed when i first got back to Adelaide because of the way i had behaved last time but once again the staff, management and the girls were all really welcoming and made me feel at ease.
Being at Adelaide House keeps me busy and my mind occupied.
I am really grateful for the second chance that i have been given. If i hadn't come back to Adelaide House i know that i would have returned to misusing alcohol and would definately end up back in prison.
My name is Kayleigh White and i am very thankful to Adelaide House, the staff and residents as i feel they have saved my life once again.
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