John W's #BelieveInPeople story

Image of John W

In this week’s #BelieveInPeople story, we hear from John, who joined Change Grow Live as a volunteer and now supports people as a Recovery Coordinator. He explains how his volunteer training and new opportunities for learning helped him with his own recovery.  

With the content of the training, it ignited a passion in me that I had not felt before. My interest was piqued, and I wanted more.  

“My journey with Change Grow Live began in February 2021. One of my peers in rehab and recovery housing brought Inspire’s volunteer programme to my attention. He had been volunteering with them for several months and had undertaken a number of training opportunities. Now, he was delivering his own training to other volunteers. 

Seeing how confident and positive he was about his future, I decided to apply as a volunteer.  

My first experience was initially overwhelming; but for the right reasons! The warm welcome and affirmation I received from the staff for my recovery journey up to that stage instilled confidence in me that I was meant for more.  

A passion for learning  

I began attending training modules through Zoom due to the pandemic, but I found this did not hinder my learning. My peer-led trainers delivered several modules, including Stress and Stress Management, Building Positive Family Relationships and Managing Challenging Behaviours, to name a few.  

With the content of the training, it ignited a passion in me that I had not felt before. My interest was piqued, and I wanted more.  

The modules were both interesting and informative and I found myself enjoying the educational platform that Inspire offered. I began building in confidence and using my own experiences to relate to the subject matter. The tools I had already gained in recovery were being strengthened and I was starting to feel like I had purpose.  

Recovery isn’t easy by any means, but I found that I was integrating into a culture that provides a positive platform for self-belief.  

A new direction  

My role within Inspire began to take form. I was soon helping to run peer-led training myself, as well as attending training around harm reduction and naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug. 

I gained a new role as a Service User Representative, where I began to find my niche. By using the training I had received and delivered, I began interacting with people using the service on a relatable level and fed back their concerns and successes to senior staff at the service and at regional meetings. 

However, the journey didn’t stop there. In January 2022 I became a Sessional Recovery Coordinator with Inspire and had the opportunity of overseeing 2 caseloads of people accessing support for opiate use.  

With the training I had gained and my own experiences of addiction, I was able to lead with confidence and put my best foot forwards. As it stands, I am a full time, permanent paid member of staff responsible for my own caseloads.  

I would recommend Change Grow Live’s volunteer training programme to anybody. It’s a time of my life I look back and think fondly about and how far I have come. I believed I could do it, so can you!” 


If you want to help other people change their lives, we'd love to have you on the team. Our amazing volunteers help us make a real difference to people’s lives. You'll give people support and inspiration that will help them change their lives for the better. 

Find out more about volunteering at Change Grow Live