Short Books Club ::

Short Books Club

Some midweek inspiration…

Even though Steve: Unwanted wasn’t published until today we have already had some brilliant feedback from people who were sent advance copies – many of them working in rehabilitation programmes or with addicts. Steve Walker seems to touch all those that come in contact with him and none more so than Huseyin, who wrote the following moving blog at

Dear all,

I was sent a copy of a book recently by a publishing company. The book is called Steve:Unwanted, and I know the author. I say I know him, what I mean is I’ve met him a few times.

He’s a nice guy, wise owl, programme director at the Ley Community in Oxfordshire. I visited The Ley a while back, when a friend was working there, and I was introduced to Steve Walker (the author) and to the CEO Wendy Dawson. Excellent, very, very nice people.

Regarding the book, a friend explained that I’m supposed to read it and provide some feedback, talk or blog about it and generally provide some thoughts etc.

This actually made me quite nervous. What if I didn’t like it? What if it wasn’t a good read? What if it brought up bad memories and I had to put it down? The pressure!

I bought myself some time by tweeting about it, and for a few days I was genuinely busy so only read the back of the book, the acknowledgements, a word from the author and Steve: interviewed.

This whetted my appetite for the book and I found myself reading more and more; a bit every night. I’m sort of rationing it now because I’m really enjoying it and I dont want it to end too quickly

I used to be all about instant gratification, wanting it all now, yesterday. But I’m forcing myself to go slow, like a good holiday read only more rewarding. I’m seeing bits of my own journey in the life of this other man that journeyed a generation before me.

The ultimate pleasure in reading this book, is that I’ve met the man and know it must be a relatively happy ending. I ended on page 132 tonight and have been reflecting on my day….

I’ve been in meetings all day and have presented on five prison needs assessments for substance misuse services in them (pre-draft, drafts which go out for consultation soon) and I was thinking, as I reflected, the detail of what we do, in the drugs field.

The non-human mechanics can sometimes be soul destroying. Dealing with the DAATs, the various people and groups – with their agendas, their points of view, their cherished beliefs about what works (and one or two of them adamant that rehab doesn’t and that its too expensive), etc etc.

Then I read a bit of Steve’s book, and while I know he’s in a pretty dark place on page 132, I know its gonna get better. I doubt if there is a piece later on describing when we met but knowing that he makes it and knowing that he is doing a fantastic job at the Ley, it lifts me up, it gives me hope. It reminds me that the needs assessments and the boring meetings are important

It reminds me that the people I met with today, despite our differences, are actually in the business of helping the Steve’s of today, stuck in a dark place, in a prison, on page 132 of their lives and they are fighting to help that person get to a better place, as we all are

Some of us are that person and are living our own page 132. Take some encouragement, there are loads of us on that journey with you, bobbing back and forth as we take one step back and two steps forward

Roll on tomorrow night and the next thrilling instalment!

All the best



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