Paula has been working in the field of addiction since 2012, she has worked within private addiction treatment and for one of the UK’s largest charity-funded community services based in Essex. Paula made the decision to change her career from working within commercial management roles to begin to volunteer as a support worker within a private substance misuse treatment centre in her spare time.
In 2015 Paula gained employment at Sanctuary Lodge based in Essex, part of the UK Addiction Treatment Group, as Support Worker and quickly progressed in her newly chosen career being promoted to Senior Support and then to Team Leader. In 2017 Paula relocated to Worthing, West Sussex and joined another UK Addiction Treatment facility, Recovery Lighthouse as Centre Manager.
To progress both her personal and professional development Paula revisited her education and became qualified as a Counsellor gaining a Diploma in Integrative Counselling at the Chichester University Group and is a registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy), she has gained City and Guilds Diploma in Leadership and Management Level 5, and the IOSH (Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) certificate. Paula is trained using DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) and practises this alongside the 12-step approach.
Paula is very passionate about supporting and empowering addicts to enable them to help themselves and feels her job is more of a vocation. She believes in a holistic approach to physical, mental and emotional well-being. She is an accomplished mindfulness and meditation practitioner and promotes a creative approach to addiction treatment whilst keeping the 12-step model as the foundation of recovery.
Debbie has been working as a Counsellor in the substance misuse field for over 2 years having previously worked with teenagers aged 16-19 in an educational setting. While working with clients to start their journey in recovery, at another rehabilitation centre, Debbie realised that this was the field that she wanted to pursue as a career by supporting others to grow and change.
“I have a personal interest in recovery and have a detailed understanding of how addiction can impact others. I have a passion to help others to have a chance to start again and live a fulfilling life”.
Mark is a person-centred counsellor who is passionate about supporting those most in need. He has previously worked as a counsellor for a homeless charity, and prior to this worked for a number of years in the field of behaviour change.
Mark has considerable experience of supporting vulnerable individuals from all walks of life, and firmly believes that we each have the potential within us to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.
Zsuzsanna has been fascinated about the human mind all her life and after discovering a book by Eric Berne she became determined to use Transactional Analysis method in order to help others.
In 2015 she started working for CGL, and found her interest to work with addiction. As Zsuzsanna lost both of her parents due to their alcoholism at a young age, she has been feeling passionate about supporting people to understand the nature of addiction, the shame that comes with it, and the power of self-compassion that can help to overcome this illness.
In addition, as part of her ongoing counselling journey, she had found the power of working with the body as well as the mind, just incredibly useful. “our body cannot lie, our mind can” She often uses meditation, visualization in her personal life and in therapy.
“I didn’t know that you can feel so relaxed without smoking cannabis” Ben S.
Senior Support Worker
From the backstreets of Hong Kong to the quiet streets of Worthing, Dave’s personal recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction has enabled him to work closely with others in early recovery in the role of Senior Support Worker at Recovery Lighthouse.
Dave first started volunteering as a co-facilitator and peer mentor in the treatment centre in Essex that played a vital role in his early recovery. Upon re-locating back to West Sussex Dave joined the team at Recovery Lighthouse as a Support Worker and immediately started to draw on his own experience of active addiction and recovery to support others making that life-changing transition. “It gives me great joy to see the miracle of recovery change people’s lives on a daily basis, it is a pleasure and a privilege to play a part in that process”.
Since joining the team in 2017 Dave has achieved a diploma in Lead Adult and Social Care, is currently undertaking further education at Worthing College to ultimately gain a qualification in Counselling and has taken on the role of Senior Support Worker. Dave is so grateful for his own personal journey through recovery, and is passionate about helping others achieve the same goal.
Elmehdi Daki has spent over three years working in a health and social care sector, he supported vulnerable adult with mental health issues, special needs and learning disabilities in a residential care and care community. He joined Recovery Lighthouse in November 2018 as a Support Worker.
Elmehdi created an organisation based in Morocco, his home country, to support the homeless and children with cancer. He is a successful artist and has worked in the music industry for many years. The skills he has learned from this has made him open minded and nurtured his interpersonal and creative skills.
He has a great belief in the effectiveness of the 12 steps of recovery having been through recovery himself, he is able to empathise with clients and their experience of early recovery and give the understanding and support they need. Elmehdi is open, honest and very enthusiastic about supporting and empowering addicts to enable them to help themselves.
As part of his professional development Elmehdi is currently studying the Health and Social Care Level 3 Apprenticeship and is looking forward to utilising these skills to provide the best support.
Sarah started as a Bank Support worker and recently joined the team full time. She had previously worked in a Support role helping people with disabilities. After completing a BSc in Sociology, Sarah became interested in helping people and understood that everyone deserves the best quality of life.
Sarah wants to become a therapist and wishes to complete a Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy so gaining experience as a Support worker allows her to work with people and help them better themselves and their lives.
Sarah has experienced how addiction can affect lives through her friend who has been dealing with addiction from a young age and because of this, seeks to understand addiction and the steps taken to overcome it. Sarah is eager to learn from the environment around her in order to help others deal with the challenges they face in their lives.
Since coming into recovery three years ago and living by the 12 Step Programme, George had begun to volunteer within the community as a Mentor to young and vulnerable adults; helping them make the best life choices. He is now employed as a recovery support worker at Recovery Lighthouse.
Previously George has worked for most of his working life in business development roles, working for Web Design Agencies, Media Organisations and Apprenticeship Providers. George has found helping people with their recovery has had a positive effect on his own. He is amazed how some of his most painful experiences have purpose and can benefit others by connection and empathy.
George finds it very rewarding helping people who are just beginning on their path to recovery at the Recovery Lighthouse: “I find it magical to see people who have come into treatment with a sense of hopelessness to then, within a relatively short period, see their eyes light up with hope of a new positive life, full of freedom.”
Brooke has a BSc Psychology (Hons) from Canterbury Christ Church University and has a passion for helping people. This has come through her work with disabled adults, working within the NHS and for a Lifeboat service.
Through her work and university studies, Brooke has gained invaluable skills and knowledge. She is able to grasp detailed information and express it in a manner which is comprehensible to all. Her eye for detail and organised approach to her work help her pay attention to even the smallest bit of information that can be of help. Equally, she has fantastic interpersonal skills, gained from her years playing football for Worthing FC. These skills make her easy to talk to and allowing her to effectively establish, and maintain relationships with the people she meets while working in our centre.
Chris has over 35 years experience in catering. He started his career with a passion for cooking and travelling which took him to the National Sea Training College, after acquiring the relevant qualifications he went into the British Merchant Navy at Sea with BP Shipping and several cruise line companies such as Princess Cruises. He also has much experience working in hotels and restaurants across London and Brighton as well as in the care sector.
Chris is a fellow member of the Cookery and Food Associations and the Craft Guild of Chefs, he has City and Guilds professional cookery qualifications, Level 3 Food Safety and Hygiene for Supervisor, HACCP training, food allergy awareness and an introduction to emotional intelligence. Chris understands that food is a personal thing to each individual and a keenness for creating well presented, nutritional and tasty food that satisfies each client.
Chris has learnt through life experience, training and meeting people from different walks of life that everyone is unique and individual, and needs to be treated with respect and kindness which is reflected by working at Recovery Lighthouse.