Bernadette

Bernadette. I’m 50.

Erm, I lived in Oldham for a long time. Because I was an alcoholic for sixteen and a half years and I’ve been off it four years now. So… And then, when I moved to Birmingham I had trouble there, so I moved to Manchester in October, and I’ve been coming here ever since.

Er, when I was an alcoholic, I was living on the streets, ‘cause I lived in Brighton and everywhere else, and I lived on the streets there when I was drinking.

Yeah, but I weren’t on my own all the time, I was with some people, but it is scary. Summer time, winter time, living on the beach.

I’m glad I’m off the drink now. I’m doing Maths and English, Health and Social Care, and a group called Speak Up. I still can’t speak up! [laughs]

Health and Social Care is… I’m not sure. It’s just about people’s health issues and stuff like that.

It’s where I’m learning to speak up about different things every week and I can’t do that yet. I’m alright one-to-one, but when it’s in groups, I don’t like doing it all the time. So I just keep quiet. [laughs].

Er… At the moment I enjoy coming here, it’s the only thing I do. And also, I’ve got a placement at Poundland, and I do twelve hours a week. I’ve just started that.

Er… It’s not too bad, they just shove you in at the deep end and you do… Whatever, I just get on with it. They leave me to it.

Oh, I was in foster care most of my [?sad] life. I weren’t with them long. I don’t like my dad. I only get on with one of my brothers. Because I babysit at weekends, for my niece and nephew in Uppermill. So, me and my mum don’t really see eye-to-eye but I help her when she’s ill. She was ill yesterday so I had to go up there.

Niece and nephews, yeah, I love going up there to Uppermill.  I go to the park with them all the time […….] actually. [laughs] Playing football, and on the swings.

[laughs] Yeah, definitely. Yeah, they do.

I’ve got a private flat in Manchester. Above an off-licence. [laughs] I know! And I don’t drink! I don’t mind, it doesn’t bother me anymore. It don’t bother me at all. I still know a few people that drink and that doesn’t bother me at all. I don’t mind because I know I can go in a pub and just order an orange or something, I’m fine.

Definitely not working in Poundland! I don’t know, I’ve been offered some more placements, like peer mentoring and that. Some fella came in last week and then he’s going to get in touch with me about that, when I’ve finished this placement first.

I would like to do peer mentoring, yeah, ‘cause I’ve been there with the drink and [?homelessness, and] all them other people out there, I’d give something back then.

Oh no, I like anything really, I really do. Any music when I listen to it. I have to have my music on in the mornings before I come out. It gets me going then, so…

It wakes you up.

Yeah, it does, yeah. I’m up at five, so I can get ready to go out, to come here and that. And then music straight on, and then that’s me for the day.