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Street Connect: Helping Addicts Recover During Covid-19

By Ruth Leigh | 15 October 2020

“It’s like we’re re-inventing the wheel every time.”

“We feel that we’re climbing a mountain without ropes.”

“If only we had someone to tell us what they did when they started out.”

 

When Ricky and Julie McAddock started the charity Street Connect in Glasgow in 2013, they didn’t say any of those things. Having benefited from huge generosity themselves and been freed from alcohol and drug addiction, they were on fire for God and desperate to get out on the streets to help others.

 

“Before we even started Street Connect, we had excellent working relationships with lots of other organisations, both Christian and non-Christian. They were always incredibly generous with their knowledge, and when we founded the charity, we vowed we’d do the same. Teen Challenge, Glasgow City Mission, Bethany Christian Trust and many others shared freely with us. As a couple of charity rookies, we didn’t know a lot about process, but they’d second people to us for free, give us access to their policies and procedures and invite us in for training. Without their open-handed generosity, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

 

Based in Glasgow, which has one of the highest numbers of drug-related deaths in the UK, Street Connect offers support to those struggling with homelessness, mental health issues, addiction, poverty and trauma of all kinds. Parts of Glasgow and surrounding areas are in the top 5% of the Multiple Deprivation Index and there’s no time to sit around reinventing the wheel.

 

“We’re all serving one purpose, which is to see God’s kingdom here on earth, so we believe in sharing and generosity. We don’t look on ourselves as a reservoir where the blessings pour in and then stay with us. If someone asks us for help, we tell our team members to give them access to whatever they want, whether it be application forms, job descriptions, policies or recruitment documentation. God has blessed us through other more long-established charities, and we’re happy to be able to pass that blessing on.”

 

Since lock down really began to bite, Ricky and Julie have hired an online group facilitator to run their recovery groups. Numbers have increased exponentially and many barriers to seeking help have come down.

 

“Lots of people who would never have come pre-Covid now attend. Distance, anxiety and fear and other commitments stopped many in the past, but going online has really worked for them.”

 

While life changed for many due to lock down, for nearly all Street Connect clients, it’s remained exactly the same. Drugs are still being sold, money is still owed and for many, the vital services on which they rely so heavily are difficult to access. The Street Connect City Centre team are out every day administering Noxolone (the overdose reversal drug) and preventing people from committing suicide. This all takes money, at a time when supporters’ incomes are down and support raising is harder than ever. However, as Ricky explains, God’s perfect timing had everything in hand.

 

“Thanks to Stewardship and their Rapid Response Fund earlier in the year, we’ve been able to take on extra staff and reach out to new clients who really need support. Life’s not getting any easier for the guys we reach out to and they need us to be on hand.”

 

With their policy of organisational generosity building and strengthening relationships in Glasgow, Ricky and Julie are transforming lives and pointing people to Jesus without having to reinvent the wheel.

 

To find out more, visit: streetconnect.co.uk

Or give to Street Connect


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Hope from Addiction: How Generosity Brought Ricky and Julie to Jesus

Posted by Ruth Leigh

Ruth is a freelance writer and speaker, based in beautiful Suffolk. She is married with three children and a variety of other livestock. She has two novels in the editing stage, writes for a number of Christian charities and writes blogs for small Suffolk businesses. She is a recovering over-achiever who is now able to do the school run in her onesie most days. She contributes to the Association of Christian Writers’ blog, More Than Writers, and also blogs at Big Words and Made Up Stories, covering topics as diverse as King Zog of Albania, a Christingle plagued by punch-ups and tummy upsets, and the inevitable decline of elderly parents. She has abnormally narrow sinuses and a morbid fear of raw tomatoes, but has decided not to let this get in the way of a meaningful life.

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