Paul Welsh is South Shields born and bred. The 62-year old found himself in a bad place after his mother died in 2018 – the mother he had been a full-time carer for since 1991.
Paul, who was a baker before he gave up work to look after his mam, said: “When my mam died, I really spiraled.
“South Shields born and bred, I had been so busy looking after my mam and when she died, I didn’t know what to do with myself.
“I started drinking – one can at first, then two, but then it got worse, and my family became very worried about me. I know I needed help for it.”
Paul was referred to Humankind, Cookson House for treatment, where he remained for three years until August last year.
He was then passed to the Universal Credit programme and the team suggested he speak to Northern Rights.
Since then, Paul has been working with Kerry to undertake basic skills and life confidence courses to get him ready for work.
He added: “Before Christmas I hit a brick wall – I had tried to push myself too hard and too fast.
Kerry got in touch with my doctor, and they phoned me the next day and they upped my medication.
“It’s been a tough time, but I do feel like I have completed my first major challenge, staying off the drink, and my ultimate aim is that I will find be able to move back into employment.
“Northern Rights were great with me – they really helped me face my demons. I had a breakdown and I needed to sort myself out and they were there with me all the way. It means so much.”