A call for voices: we want to hear from women

Sarah Storer, Service User Representative

In 2020 I approached Change Grow Live with my addiction problems, having lived with them for almost all of my adult life. Eighteen months later, I am here, I am well, living in recovery and working with Change Grow Live and the National Lived Experience Group. 

As with many people living with addiction, this journey has had its difficult times and what I have seen, heard, experienced, and observed, has been extraordinary. 

I want to use my lived experience to make positive changes to the lives of women.

Women’s inequality in society is still very visible and has been intensified by the pandemic:

71% of working mothers had their furlough requests turned down after schools shut (TUC)

Women reported domestic violence 25% more when social distancing measures were implemented (UN Women and WHO)

Women were twice as likely as men to have lost their job in the first wave of the pandemic (University of Exeter)

68% of women reported that they found it significantly harder to stay positive during the lockdown, in direct comparison with 47% of men (Ipsos MORI and Fawcett Society)

Women are drinking more frequently than men as a coping mechanism to deal with the increasing pressures of the pandemic and to alleviate symptoms of mental ill-health (University of East Anglia)

Earlier this year, I was invited to take part in a roundtable, discussing women’s experiences with drug and alcohol services.  The discussion was dynamic, driven, full of energy and enthusiasm. 

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“We can do more to listen to women’s experiences so we can understand better the barriers women are facing. I welcome this conversation and look forward to learning more about the things we can all do to make a difference.” - Nic Adamson, Executive Director

I’m excited to say that this project is the very first piece of user-led research for the new Research and Development Team. We invite you to shape this research brief.

If you have any ideas or would like to help us hear the seldom-heard voices, please get in touch with us at [email protected].

Come and join us to make a difference in women’s lives. 


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