In the first of our Recovery Voices interviews, which took place in March 2023, Huseyin Djemil described Towards Recovery, the recovery community he developed in 2012 which is based in Henley-on-Thames. In the two films below, he describes the development of this exciting initiative.
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. They also organised a few conferences, with notable speakers from around the country, and various event nights. A key aim was to show that people in recovery are assets. They are people who have walked through deep water, come out the other side, and are now helping others who have problems in their lives.
In 2017, Towards Recovery became a Community Interest Company (CIC). Volunteers make cakes and savouries, and work on Recovery Cafe evenings. Huseyin describes how Towards Recovery moved their ‘cafe’ evenings online, using Zoom, when Covid made its appearance. He also briefly describes two of the recovery community’s educational initiatives, Three Degrees of Change and The School of Unlearning. The latter was developed with financial support from the Big Lottery Fund.