The power of fried egg on toast


Recently I have been working on the Personal Recovery Support Fund which provides small non-cash awards to individuals being supported in their recovery from drug or alcohol addiction by the Achieve service.

This fund forms part of a wider grants service that Salford CVS provides for Achieve across Bolton, Salford and Trafford.

With support from their keyworker, Achieve clients can bid for support with a variety of items that have been identified as supporting them in achieving their recovery goals. This can include refurbished laptops for training and job-seeking, new clothes for interviews, as well as decorating materials, furniture, washing machines, cookers and fridge freezers to make new homes liveable.

The items that we purchase highlight the financial pressures that many Achieve clients are under as they progress their recovery. Typically, many people we support also struggle with low-mood. Having a bed to sleep in, a cooker to make meals or a washing machine to clean clothes are basic items that help us to live our lives with dignity and maintain emotional health. To not have these whilst emerging from long-term addiction is an additional burden that these awards help to alleviate.

When I contact applicants to tell them their award has been approved they are always hugely appreciative. A couple of people have even got upset (in a good way) which is hard to hear but also heart-warming, especially knowing I am a part of a process which is helping and supporting people to live a happy, healthier life which everyone deserves.

A few examples come to mind; a woman who had been waiting weeks to make and enjoy her favourite meal – “I can’t wait to have some fried egg on toast!”. And another who was excited to put a wash on after weeks of hand washing her family’s clothes. One man was excited to be able to decorate his house but said: “The first thing I will be doing is decorating my baby’s bedroom!”

There have been several times where I have heard upsetting stories where people have moved into a new flat and not had the funds to make it a home and purchase furniture to fill it. Some individuals have been eating cold food because they do not have the appliances to cook, others can only eat tins or microwaveable goods because they haven't anywhere to store perishable items. It has made me think and reflect on my own life and how much I take appliances like this for granted. By having access to these goods I now see that I am allowed to put my energy and time into other things like my health, job or hobbies and do not have to spend extra time or mental energy getting through normal, everyday tasks.

I have realised that the small things that I take for granted have much more of an effect on my life than I ever knew. Not only am I able to help people through the Personal Recovery Support Fund but it has taught me the importance of the little things in life - I have been humbled and I am proud to work on this small but powerful grant.

Small changes can have big impacts!

Salford CVS
Ashley Chapman

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Salford CVS is the city-wide infrastructure organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector; providing specialist information, advice, development support and opportunities for influence and collaboration.

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