She's spent years in and out of rehab, battling her addictions – now former alcoholic Jane Beamsley is ready to give back to her community.
With help and support from her friends Deeann Herkt-Kopa and Rhonda Zielinski, Beamsley is setting up a recovery hub and support clinic in Kaikohe for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts.
Their new group He Waka Eke Noa Te Tai Tokerau is located just off Broadway, down the laneway opposite Clifford St, and is expected to be opened on March 9.
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It's based on community support group He Waka Eke Noa, a programme in Auckland which has helped hundreds of people on the road to recovery through song, dance and bonding together.
Beamsley, who went through the Auckland programme in 2017, knows first-hand the programme works.
Originally from Rotorua, Beamsley grew up in a dysfunctional family where alcohol, domestic violence and mental illness were rife.
She began drinking aged 11 and it wasn't long before her life spiralled out of control.
"It's a disease in our family," she said.
"By the time I was 15 I had already turned into an alcoholic. I was drinking Wednesday to Sunday and tried to take my life. I was diagnosed with depression, and started taking drugs, but alcohol was my first poison."
By the time she was 15 Beamsley – who affiliates with Ngāpuhi, Te Arawa and Ngāti Kahungunu – had left school and was struggling to hold down a job because of her addictions.
The deaths of her grandmother followed by her father caused her to hit rock bottom.
"I pretty much lost the plot after that. When they died, I started doing drugs and ended up in a mental ward."
The following years saw her relapse several times, and she was in and out of recovery.
She turned to methamphetamine when her mum died in 2016 and a year later came to a crossroads.
Realising she needed better support, she reached out to He Waka Eke Noa and started attending regular meetings.
"They were there no matter what," Beamsley said.
"It was like having a family, but sober ones. I felt like I belonged, they never gave up on me, despite me relapsing."
Beamsley went on to complete an 18-week Higher Ground residential programme in Auckland, which is based on 12 step recovery principles, and graduated last May.
She moved to Kaikohe for a fresh start and is studying for a level 4 health and wellbeing certificate at Northtec.
She has now been clean and sober for 15 months.
"For me, it was about having people not give up on me. There's life after addiction; unconditional love is the antidote. Don't be afraid to reach out, you're not alone."
Rhonda Zielinski, who is a clinical manager at Te Ha Oranga, said He Waka Eke Noa Te Tai Tokerau is great because it's a grassroots group run by people who've experienced addiction and can offer genuine peer support.
The new room in Kaikohe is a "visual presence" in the community, she said.
"There's a lot of providers in the community but people don't know who they are, and people don't know what they do," she said.
"As a mum, if you find out your son is addicted to meth, what do you do? Where do you go?
"What this is focused on is the gift of recovery - it's about giving people hope. The whole purpose is to get people to reach their full potential and go back into the workforce and be part of the solution."
The drop-in centre will be manned by volunteers from 10am-3pm Monday to Friday.
The group need help to furnish the new space with a fridge, office furniture, whiteboards and a reception desk.
If you can help, or if you'd like to know more, contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0273603232.