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Kate Guscott - Chandos House

In these current economic times, when state funding is at an all time low and likely to reduce further, we are looking for support in whatever way possible, whether that be funding, exposure or materials. I am joining GFN as I am aware of the social conscience and creativity of your company. We are a small not for profit looking for support so that some of the most damaged individuals in the Bristol community can learn to love themselves and others again, and become proud and positive members of society.

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Kate's 'getting stuff done' manifesto

  • Think
  • Play
  • Do
  • Write
  • Cook
  • Connect
  • Make

As you have ties to the Bristol art community you may have heard of Chandos House Addiction Treatment Centre, if not, this will at the very least be an opportunity to know a little about the incredibly creative and transformational work that goes on here.

I would like to start by introducing myself. My name is Kate, I am a registered Art Therapist and have worked with many clients groups in the past including refugees, children and in adult mental health. In the last 3 and a half years I have worked in some of Los Angeles most highly acclaimed rehabs, including Cliffside, Malibu and Blvd, Hollywood. It is here I feel that I really found my calling working in addiction and trauma treatment. Therefore, when I recently returned to the UK, I immediately started looking into the rehab community here. Chandos House caught my attention, due to its holistic and warm approach to recovery.

I’m not sure if you have ever had to witness the grips of addiction but it literally tears a person apart, both physically and mentally. Addiction occurs when there is nowhere else to turn. During my experience working in this field I have witnessed just how desperate this particular client group are for a creative outlet, and therefore how effectively they use it. At Chandos House we offer a number of creative therapies, which, provide people who have tried to escape their pain with a healthy way of addressing it. Often the clients I work with have never had the chance to play, express themselves or be creative, due to having had extremely difficult childhoods and/or being inhibited by the traumatic events they have endured. To quote one Chandos resident:

‘I have never had the chance to get to know myself’

This man had spent his childhood simply surviving an extremely abusive and violent home life.

Addiction treatment provides people with the tools to be able to change their realities in a healthy way. Men at Chandos House start by recognising that they are survivors, not failures. Learning self compassion - understanding why things have turned out this way, self confidence, self love and the ability to trust and love others.
Many people coming to Chandos House have never experienced a healthy family environment, in which every member is valued. Bert, our resident dog who is a constant reminder to us all of what unconditional love is, he therefore holds the most important title of ‘Head of Treatment’ (Top Dog!).

In all my experience I can genuinely say I have never before witnessed the level of dedication, care and community that Chandos House provides.

Part of the movement for 2 years

September 2017