Ibrox Recovery Drop In Turned My Life Around

Wed 26th October 2022

Thirty years of drug and alcohol abuse and time behind bars had left Josh McDougall addicted, isolated and contemplating taking his own life.

With his mental health at an all-time low and no family to turn to, life was beginning to weigh heavily on this Glasgow man’s shoulders.

But a visit to the Recovery Drop In at Ibrox kicked off a remarkable journey for Josh who was spiralling “in a state of hopelessness”.

Fortunately, he bumped into an old friend in 2018 who had been attending the Rangers Charity Foundation’s Recovery Drop In at the Ibrox Community Hub – a free, safe and friendly place open to anyone, who is recovering from addiction.

“I suffered depression and low moods, I had no confidence or self-esteem,” Josh explained.

“I felt like ending my own life on a daily basis as I never saw a way out of the horrible place I had got to through the years of drug and alcohol abuse.

“But the first night at the Recovery Drop In gave me a glimmer of hope. I met other people that night with experience of addiction. They welcomed me, they listened to me and told me how they had managed to beat their addiction. They were empathetic and, most importantly, did not judge me and it was a safe and friendly environment to be in and it was easy to access.

“With the hope that this gave me and encouragement from staff, I decided that I was going to start attending the Drop In on a weekly basis.”

Now, at the age of 45, Josh is part of the committee of volunteers who help run the Drop In sessions every Monday evening and put on activities such as table tennis, bingo, quizzes and video game consoles. Attendees are welcome to tea, coffee and biscuits and free internet access and can also take part in recovery meetings.

Use of the Ibrox Community Hub’s facilities and resources also enables attendees to work with staff to educate themselves and build their CVs to help find employment.   

And thanks to the Recovery Drop In and his own determination, Josh was recruited by South Community Recovery Network (SCRN) as a recovery support worker. Josh continues to be part of its Ibrox Community Recovery Team, using his experiences to aid those suffering from similar struggles he fought years to overcome.

“What I enjoy most about the programme is the options of support available and the opportunities that were offered to me through the Rangers Charity Foundation,” Josh continued.

“The programme has helped me massively in my recovery journey. Not only was l supported with my addiction and mental health issues, but l was also given opportunities to educate myself.

“The staff have supported me and helped me work on my own personal development by offering myself and others the chance to take part in the training opportunities. This was very important to me as I was working on building my own CV to get me in to future employment, which now I have been successful in achieving.

“Due to all the support I received from staff and peers at Ibrox, it was important to me to still be part of it so I can offer the support to others who walk through the door for the first time.”

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