One of the women who attend the pilot project, Roz, gave an interview to the Bristol Post:
She said: “Before the Bristol Drugs Project, I was drinking vodka all day, every day.” Now she has committed to stop drinking in order to stay on the programme.
“I’d lay in bed all day, every day. I never went anywhere or spoke to anyone.
“One day things went too far – I started smashing up my flat and hurting myself.
“A doctor referred me to the women’s group at Bristol Drugs Project and this was all huge for me. I hadn’t left the house in weeks, seen or spoken to anyone.
“My whole body was shaking and every step was painful.”
Roz said that being in the woods had stopped her worrying and made her feel more hopeful for her future.
She said: “I’m the youngest of eight and my childhood was spent playing in the woods near our home. I loved it. I felt like it was where I belonged.
“All those memories came back to me and I felt excited for the first time in a long time. When I got to go to the woods I woke up that morning looking forward to something. It was exciting to get ready to go somewhere.
“I’m always worrying, but when I come to the woods, I switch off my phone. I feel free.
“Last week I went to see my doctor to talk to her about how I’m getting on and she was amazed. She said my face looked better and she could see how much being in the woods was benefitting me.
“She was going to put me on a detox programme but she could see that this is my detox.”
Roz has now been clear of alcohol for over a year and continues to visit Tortworth Arboretum to support other women.