"I honestly thought I would never amount to anything."
Eliza is a valued resident at the Greenhouse Community Project.
"I went to rehab for 6 months and met Fiona (Director, Greenhouse Community Project) half way through, then moved straight in from rehab." She said.
"There’s such a failing in the mental health system in the UK and this is where the Church can step in and actually make a difference."
"There’s often a lot of stigma and negativity around addiction and mental health. Finding a place where I can explore myself heal and plan for a future I never thought possible is incredible."
It's important to stop and listen to Eliza's thoughts that the Church can be making more of a difference. Communities like the Greenhouse could become much more common place and make a massive impact for so many people who are struggling alone. Learning from people who have created these communities that bring life and are seeing others thriving is an important first step.
Fiona Spicer is an ordinary woman who directs the project from a place of extraordinary compassion and love. She explains,
"We live in a world where many people are excluded. We're trying to create a place where it doesn't matter what's happened in your past, everyone deserves a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance and a place where they can rebuild their lives. Accepted for who they are. Non judgemental and hopefully that's what they see when they come here."
Eliza has been with the Greenhouse for the past 18 months. Fiona speaks warmly about her time so far getting to know her.
"Since coming to the Greenhouse, Eliza has started uni and is doing well. She gets support and has a mentor who meets with her twice a week. She still helps at our shop an afternoon a week, has done well in her recovery and an active member of a little church."
With a smile, Eliza talks about how even though she never thought she would amount to anything, now she's moving forwards. "So much has changed and I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to live and to work and give back."