News     24/02/2022

A Grand Week of Recovery Stories – Zoe’s Story

A Grand Week of Recovery Stories – Zoe’s Story

Zoe works as a Recovery Practitioner at Adferiad Recovery’s Hafan Wen Detox facility in Wrexham. She struggled with drug addiction for 26 years, starting when she was only 13 years old. Zoe’s life was turned upside down by her addiction, resulting in her spending most of her youth on the wrong side of the law.

“I grew up in the criminal justice system. I first appeared in court at 14 years of age for assault. I was taking drugs to numb my feeling from the age of 13 onwards. It progressed from cannabis to heroin and crack cocaine.”

In order to fund her addiction, Zoe turned to crime which eventually resulted in her receiving a jail sentence following a conviction of possession of drugs with intent to supply. Following her release she was in rent arrears, had lost custody of her children and struggled to find employment due to her criminal record. She continued to get involved in criminal activities to help make ends meet and fund her addiction which was spiralling out of control, consuming various different substances such as heroin, methadone, diazepam and antidepressants on a regular basis.

“My criminal history stopped me from getting jobs, so I just accepted that was how it was. I will always just be a junkie with a criminal history and no employer will want to take me on. I began engaging in more criminal activity as a way to survive and fund my habit.”

Zoe’s life turned around when she began engaging with CAIS (now Adferiad Recovery) services in 2015. She began receiving therapeutic interventions and recovery coaching at Champion’s House in Wrexham and was housed in supported accommodation.

“There was no help with housing to be able to better my situation. But CAIS supported me to learn how to pay bills, live independently, and gave me volunteering opportunities.”

Zoe went on to become a dedicated volunteer for CAIS, undertaking various duties at our Soup Dragon, Champion’s House and Hafan Wen sites. In recognition of her dedication, CAIS went on to fund Zoe to complete an NVQ Level 3 in Health and Social Care which led to her becoming a paid member of staff at Hafan Wen where she continues to work as a Recovery Practitioner with Adferiad Recovery.

“They gave me a sense of purpose and enabled me to become a productive member of society – they gave me my life back.”

Zoe is now 7 years in recovery from her addiction. She lives independently, sees her children and continues to work hard at her job. She cites the support she received from Adferiad Recovery as being the key to her getting her life back on track and believes that young people should be referred to services such as these instead of being handed often damaging criminal convictions.

“Adferiad gave me my smile and my dignity back. They have enabled me to be who I needed when I was younger – a positive role model. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be able to pass that light on to others.”


Donations to Adferiad Recovery are vital in helping to ensure we can continue to support people like Zoe on their recovery journey. All the money fundraised through A Grand Week in Wales will be distributed across their partner community organisations, including Adferiad Recovery, to support these good causes.

If you would like to make a donation to A Grand Week in Wales, head over to: