Return to the Manor Women's Project
I spent several hours at the weekend listening back to a programme we broadcast almost exactly two years ago to the day.
My editor and I had gone to Walsall to visit a kind of rehab centre for drug addicts and sex workers. I say 'kind of', because it wasn't what we expected: not sterile and formal, just homely and safe.
17 women lived there, in four terraced houses knocked together. It's run by Greg and Alison. It was a place that women who were addicted to class A drugs went to when they knew they had to get off them.
To be accepted into the house they had to agree to regular and random drugs tests, enrol on a college course (ex-drug addicts are often tempted to go back to the drugs out of boredom), and couldn't have a boyfriend (in some cases the boyfriend was the dealer).
In the first half hour of the programme, as several women described how they'd become addicted to heroin or crack cocaine and ended up working the streets or stealing from their parents to fund their habit, a couple of texts arrived from some listeners who weren't impressed. Either with the women, or with us for broadcasting from there: "junkie scum-bags - why give them the air time?". That kind of thing.
As you know, I read out as much of the critical stuff as anything else, so I aired these views. That led to dozens and dozens of supportive messages - "these women are working hard to get their lives back on track"; "these stories are inspirational "; "well done for letting us hear these articulate ladies and their determination to turn their lives around".
Anyway, whatever you thought of the broadcast two summers ago, we're returning to the Manor Women's Project this week. We'll find out who still lives there, who's successfully moved on, and who's relapsed.
Plus we'll talk to two women and their mums who, as a direct result of hearing the programme in July 2009, went to the Manor Women's Project because they needed help.
Victoria Derbyshire will be live from the Manor Women's Project at 10:00 on Wednesday 20 July