How a former addict turned her life around with help from Hebron House
Archant Norfolk 2018
Clare Pretty lost a good job, her home and almost her life because of her addiction to alcohol.
At her lowest point, the 49-year-old was consuming several bottles of wine a day in order to function.
But thanks to Hebron House - a women’s-only rehabilitation centre in Norwich - and her own determination, she has turned her life around.
And now, she is taking part in an ambitious challenge in support of the charity that helped her.
“I was a very broken woman when I came in here, and I had lost a lot,” Miss Pretty said. “But Hebron House changed my life.”
The former property surveyor, from London, was referred to the charity’s rehab centre in February 2015.
Prior to then, she had spent almost a decade battling an alcohol addiction.
Miss Pretty said she went from being a “law-abiding citizen” with a good job on Canary Wharf, to losing everything.
“It [alcoholism] was a very slow progression for me,” she said. “I was always the one going out, and always the one coming off worse for wear.
“For a long time you could say I was a functioning alcoholic, but it really started to take hold in the last couple of years.”
She said she was “terrified” when she first arrived at Hebron House, having come from hospital.
But six months later Miss Pretty had managed to overcome her addiction, and she has been alcohol free for more than three years.
She now works for the charity in order to help other women who are fighting addiction.
“That is what recovery gives you,” she said. “It makes you want to do something for other people.”
Next month, Miss Pretty, along with the manager of Hebron House, Emma Pawsey, will be taking on an unusual challenge to raise money for the organisation.
The pair aim to travel around 350 miles from Norwich to Hebron in Wales without any money or mode of transport.
Instead they will be relying on the good will of the public to help get them there in just five days.
Ms Pawsey, 48, said they aim to hitch-hike part of the route and hope to cover around 90 miles each day.
Money from the challenge, which begins on Monday, July 2, will go directly to the charity.
• To sponsor the Hebron to Hebron challenge, visit www.chuffed.org/project/hebron2hebron-challenge