About the Project

Recovery Voices, developed by David Clark and Wulf Livingston, captures conversations about what works in supporting recovery from addiction, and in the development of peer-led recovery communities, from a range of individuals with lived experience, as well as friends of recovery.

We highlight common messages and learnings that come from these conversations, providing a resource for people working with, and supporting, recovery and recovery communities.

We celebrate the lives and successes of recovering people and recovery communities, and in doing so enhance the visibility of recovery and highlight what can be achieved.

We encourage the development of new peer-led recovery communities and their interaction with other initiatives.

Blogs


27th June 2024

Taking a Break

I've therefore decided to take a period away from our Recovery Voices project, so that I can focus more on the recovery book I want to write and spend more time 'being'. This post will be my last until the beginning of August. This focus on book writing and 'being' time is all the more important in that I have a significant...
26th June 2024

Therapeutic Effects of Eternal Media: Marcus Fair

Marcus and his team receive commissions to make films for health boards, the police and prisons. They take out people in recovery as crew members for this work, helping them to gain valuable experience. People in recovery also participate in Recovery in Focus courses...
25th June 2024

Second Theme Clip Playlist: Marcus Fair

‘But the other skills they are getting are all being fed in under the radar, the confidence, the self-esteem. The sense of worthlessness is going. You know, that self-loathing that us addicts have had in addiction. It’s overwhelming that self-loathing. And that kind of goes and people don’t even know. All they know is that...

People


13th September 2023

Huseyin Djemil, Part 2

Huseyin Djemil, Founder of Towards Recovery, talks about a range of topics which include: recovering people needing to be visible; the Japanese art of Kintsugi, which teaches you that your broken parts are valued; a comparison of the drug strategies of two major British cities; an analogy of the revolving door of treatment...
17th September 2023

Professor Wendy Dossett

As reflected in our conversation, it becomes rapidly clear that Wendy has so much to offer to, and insight on, the process of recovery. She is honest and thoughtful in reflections on her own recovery journey. Rich and insightful in her understanding of the 12-Step Fellowship and particularly the role that spirituality plays in recovery.
12th February 2024

Rhoda Emlyn-Jones OBE

What is so remarkable about this interview, and in a sense what I continue to learn from Rhoda, is how the best of practice is built on the most obvious, but often neglected, cornerstones of honesty, respect and understanding.... Rhoda provides us with a clear message about the value of hope and strengths over negative...

A RECOVERY COMMUNITY PROVIDES:

Hope
Understanding
A sense of belonging
Acceptance and support
Engagement in meaningful activities
Opportunity to give back to others

A RECOVERING PERSON:

Gains a stronger motivation to change
Possesses an enhanced self-esteem
Becomes an empowered citizen
Overcomes stigma (shame)
Finds a sense of purpose
Acquires a new identity

Communities


10th August 2023

North Wales Recovery Communities

North Wales Recovery Communities (NWRC) comprises a number of communities, including a residential rehab at Penrhyn House, Growing for Change, with its gardens and allotments, and Bwyd Da Bangor (Good Food Bangor), a community cafe/restaurant that provides the best food on the High Street. Penrhyn House offers space for various...
10th August 2023

Towards Recovery

Towards Recovery offers a Recovery Cafe in Henley-on-Thames, as well as an online Recovery Cafe, where people recovering from addiction, can get support and encouragement. It aims to help people connect with others, re-connect with themselves and the world around them, and make sustainable changes to create a life of...
10th August 2023

Eternal Media

Eternal Media is a media production social enterprise and charity, located in Wrexham, that makes high impact documentary films. Their professional, award-winning producers empower and mentor volunteer film crews, which comprise people who are rebuilding their lives and are recovering from addiction and/or an involvement in...

Stories


16th September 2023

Development of Towards Recovery: Huseyin Djemil

Huseyin describes how he first set up Towards Recovery in 2012, starting out by renting a church coffee shop for monthly evening gatherings. He and his colleagues wanted to make recovery visible, letting people see ‘it’ and decide whether they wanted to connect to it.
3rd October 2023

Hedonistic Drink & Drug Use: Wulf Livingston

I first met my Recovery Voices colleague Wulf Livingston in 2000 when Becky Hancock and I were conducting the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Fund (DATF) evaluation in Wales. The local evaluator for North Wales, Anni Stonebridge, used to organise our meetings when...
14th September 2023

A Family Trauma: Huseyin Djemil

Huseyin’s earliest memory, from when he was three or four years old, was being terrified whilst he stood in his pyjamas in a hallway with lots of commotion going on around him. Someone picks him up and whisks him away. Later, he learns that his father had just killed someone in their house. As he grows up, he hears stories of that day...

Themes


9th September 2023

Development of a Drinking Problem

One of David McCartney's parents had a drinking problem and this led to a lot of uncertainties and unpredictabilities in the family, which in turn resulted in young David developing anxiety and fearful states. Rather than ask for help, he internalised everything. When he was working as an an inner city GP, David became overwhelmed and...
15th September 2023

Stigma

Our interviewees talk about various aspects relating to the stigmatisation of people who have had a past drug or alcohol problem.  David McCartney describes the negative reactions of a doctor who was assessing him as part of the process of determining whether he was eligible to receive benefits after he had come out of a treatment...
1st December 2023

Identity: Dr. David McCartney

Dr. David McCartney describes that as his drinking problem was becoming worse he developed the ability to split what he was drinking from what his patients with alcohol problems were drinking. The amounts weren't that different. However, David rationalised that he couldn't have a problem, as he was in a suit and seeing...

Extras


10th September 2023

Stopping Heroin Use Without Treatment

Many of Biernacki’s interviewees revealed that when they resolved to stop using heroin, they were uncertain about what they should do with their lives instead. They knew what they did not want to do, but they were less certain about what they did want and how they could go...
20th September 2023

Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), Part 1

'Everyone has a gift (they are born with), a skill (they have learned and practiced, and could potentially share/teach), and a passion (that they act on) that they can contribute to the wellbeing of their community. Social movements grow stronger...'
12th September 2023

How Childhood Trauma Can Make You A Sick Adult: Vincent Felitti

‘… with a so-called ACE score of six, experiencing any six of the ten categories we studied, that person was 4,600% more likely to become an IV drug user than a person who had experienced none of those ten categories. … you read in the newspaper the latest cancer scare of the week...'

About us


Testimonials


  • David’s work across many decades has laid the groundwork for words and practices that today trip off the tongue, such as ‘recovery movement’ and ‘cultural trauma’. The Recovery Voices website brings his insights from the field into one home. It also invites us to the meal table within that house. He and his collaborator Wulf Livingston rightly reserve a special seat for the people and communities whose stories we must hear into full expression to move towards genuine reconciliation. Thank you, David, for your continued groundbreaking work and the wholehearted way you convene us into the heartland of an alternative future. Cormac Russell, Author of Rekindling Democracy and Co-author of The Connected Community.

  • I’m glad that this new website has been launched—it’ll help people share their experience of what it means to be human and help remind them of the simplicity of the recovery journey to wholeness. Congratulations to my friends David, Wulf, and colleagues—their dedication to helping others navigate their humanness is something I’ve long admired. Wynford Ellis Owen, Former CEO at Living Room Cardiff, Wales
  • Congratulations on the new website! Bill White (Addiction Recovery Advocate, Historian and Researcher)
  • The new resource Recovery Voices digs into the lives and experiences of people who, in recovery themselves, spend time with others seeking, or in, recovery from addictions. In identifying themes, it draws out the rich diversity of experiences, showing how there is no single 'grand narrative' of recovery, no single 'recipe', just lots of people living out their own authentic lives in ways that they greatly prefer. The site represents a tonne of voluntary work from David Clark in Australia and Wulf Livingston in Wales. Their collaboration in itself shows how recovery seeds in, and spreads from, the spaces between people in relationships. Professor Wendy Dossett, University of Chester, England
  • I’ve been learning from David’s websites for over 20 years now, and his new Recovery Voices initiative with Wulf Livingston has added a new dimension to my experiences. I love the films and through them I am ‘meeting’ new people, discovering exciting recovery community initiatives, and learning even more about recovery and related matters. It’s a little university… and it’s only just begun! Michael Scott, Australia (45 years in recovery from alcohol addiction, 40 years as a drug and alcohol treatment practitioner)