One primary aim of our Recovery Voices initiative is to learn from, support, and encourage the development of peer-led recovery communities. Why? Here is what we say on our Communities page:
‘Recovery is contagious, so you need a community in which that contagion can be seeded and passed on. Recovery communities provide an environment in which individuals in early recovery can be inspired by, and learn from, those people who are further along in their recovery journey.
Members of recovery communities engage in a wide range of social, physical and educational activities that fill the void created by moving away from previous unhealthy addictive behaviours, and help individuals create a more fulfilling and rewarding lifestyle. Recovery communities facilitate human connection and enable feelings of belonging, leading to an improved psychological wellbeing.
Recovery communities enhance the visibility of recovery, show recovering people giving back to the wider community, and challenge the stigma and discrimination that exists towards people who have developed drug and alcohol problems or are overcoming such problems. Recovery communities show that recovering people are assets in the wider community.’
To date, we have created pages on this website for three UK recovery communities, the Founders of whom have been interviewed:
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 crime. Eternal’s productions encourage creativity and storytelling, enhance self-esteem and teamwork, and ensure the development of new practical skills.
Eternal Media is founded by Marcus Fair, who is in long-term recovery from a 25-year addiction to heroin and crack cocaine.
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 mutual aid groups from outside to operate, and a range of social and physical activities.
NWRC was founded in 2014 by James Deakin, a person in long-term recovery from an addiction to cocaine. A major fundamental principle of NWRC is service to the local community and further afield.
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 their own choosing.
Towards Recovery shows that people in recovery are community assets who can positively contribute to the wellbeing of those around them. The recovery community was founded in 2012 by Huseyin Djemil, who is in long-term recovery from an addiction to Class A drugs.
Please also check out the People page for Dr. David McCartney who created Lothian and Edinburgh Abstinence Programme (LEAP), which provides residential rehabilitation treatment for people and operates as a recovery community.
You might also find these two past Recovery Voices blog posts of interest: