Terry's story

Army veteran Terry found his life spiralling out of control due to alcohol addiction, but with our support he put himself on a path to recovery.

Terry, 49, served in the Royal Corps of Signals for almost five years, leaving service in 1992.

"After joining as a junior soldier at the age of 16, I undertook basic training at Catterick which I thoroughly enjoyed and gave me a sense of real belonging and family in that environment," he says.

"I eventually specialised in a trade which was telecommunications and became a highly trained communications specialist employed on a task of national importance during Operation Granby. 

Terry Barnett in Army uniform
Terry served in the Royal Corps of Signals for almost five years

"I was also posted in Cyprus and conducted two tours of Northern Ireland which were classed as emergency duty."

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Although he went on to have a successful career in outside the military, Terry found himself becoming more and more dependent on alcohol.

"In the background alcohol was a presence and it had always been part of the culture in the military, a way to unwind, and I took that through to civvy life.  

I soon began to become more and more dependent on alcohol and began to spiral.

By 2019 Terry was in desperate need of help.

Having lost his job, his family and falling into debt, he finally acknowledged his addiction and reached out to RBL for help

“It took a lot of time for me to build up the courage to make that call,” admits Terry.

“However, one day I got a call back and it was an Information Advisor from the West Midlands RBL team and she told me directly there were a lot of ways the charity could help me but they couldn’t help me unless I helped myself.

“It was what I needed to hear and something just clicked! 

“So, the next time she called from RBL, I was ready and sober to start the process of getting help.”

To help Terry get back on his feet we paid a Debt Relief Order and helped him apply for limited capability benefits, as well as helping him to buy a fridge for his home and providing him with shopping vouchers. 

We also referred him to counselling sessions and advised on a local support addiction service, with our local Case Officers checking in with Terry over the phone on a regular basis.   

All the little things RBL has supported with have made a big difference. Terry Barnett

"They lifted the pressures and worries I had off my shoulders and this allowed me to begin to address my addiction and seek the help I needed.

"The case officer and advisors I spoke with at RBL were understanding and I was comfortable speaking with them from the outset. 

"They never gave up on me and it was that contact on a regular basis that really kept me going over the past year to stay sober and get on the right path."

Continued support

Since first getting in touch with RBL, our staff have remained in contact with Terry and continued to provide support. 

Most recently we provided Terry with a grant to help him during the cost of living crisis, and helped him pay for a counselling course at college. 

"I am now over three years sober and the difficulties of my past have dwindled with a lot of soul searching," says Terry. 

"I now work for SIAS (Solihull Integrated Addiction Services) that I volunteered for in my early stages of sobriety.

"I support veterans, young people, families, and public around addiction. I have been working here for 18 months and my life is stable."

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