The Recovery Voices project was developed by David Clark and Wulf Livingston in order to capture 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 learning that comes from these messages.
We aim for this website to be an education and information resource for people working with, and supporting, recovering people and peer-led recovery communities, as well as for recovering people themselves.
We celebrate the lives and achievements of recovering people and peer-led recovery communities.
We believe that our Recovery Voices project is best understood be considering the Why?, What?, and How?
We have been inspired by the:
- courage and strength of people who have conquered addiction and turned their lives around, many of whom have gone on to help others overcome their problems and find recovery.
- compassion, empathy, gratitude, love and understanding that exists within peer-led recovery communities (PLRCs), and the healing power that such communities generate.
- positive impact that recovering people and PLRCs can have on wider society, including showing how people can overcome a wide range of adversities.
We know that recovering people and PLRCs:
- show that recovery is possible, and how it is achieved via a multitude of different pathways;
- illustrate the effectiveness of such communities, and how this success is achieved, in helping people overcome addiction and associated problems.
- demonstrate the ways that PLRCs impact positively on wider society.
Our approach involves:
- interviewing recovering people and friends of recovery, in particular those involved with PLRCs.
- providing an information resource (Recovery Stories) of content focused on addiction recovery and related matters, as well as on the development and maintenance of PLRCs.
- promoting the work and celebrating the achievements of recovering people and PLRCs, and encouraging the development and connection of other PLRCs and related recovery initiatives.
Our Way Forward:
David and Wulf initially interviewed five people—James Deakin, Huseyin Djemil, Dr. Wendy Dossett, Marcus Fair and Dr. David McCartney—who are in long-term recovery from addiction and have worked in one capacity or other in the addiction recovery for many years. David also interviewed Wulf, a long-time friend of recovery. All interviews were completed using Zoom (David’s) or Microsoft Teams (Wulf’s). Some interviewees participated in more than one interview.
The films of these interviews were edited by David in two ways. Firstly, he edited the original films into a series of shorter films (mostly 4-10 minutes long) which are ‘archived’ in the People section of the website in the order they occurred in the interview. Each People post contains a summary of the interview, brief biography of the person, with relevant links, along with details of the films that have been edited from the original, i.e. titles, summaries and links to the film on our YouTube channel.
Please note that due to the interviews being conducted online, the cinematic quality is variable. For this, we apologise. However, we believe that any shortcoming in visual quality is made up for by the quality of the content.
These films are used in our Stories section, which contain stories focused on a wide range of matters related to recovery and addiction. These Stories may contain one or more films (organised in a YouTube playlist) taken from a single person’s interview. Examples of Stories are Descent Into Addiction, Drug Addict to Filmmaker, and A Family Trauma).
The Themes section of the website includes films of our interviewees that are focusing on specific topics related to recovery, addiction, treatment, community, and other matters. The films have been created by re-editing our original film into short (almost always less than three minutes) clips, and then ‘linking’ the appropriate clips by using YouTube Playlists. The Theme films (e.g. Recovery Advocacy, Shame, and Connection) are compiled from material involving one or more of our interviewees.
The Communities section of our website contains a series of pages devoted initially to three different types of peer-led recovery communities: Eternal Media, North Wales Recovery Communities (NWRC), and Towards Recovery. We devote a lead-in page to each community which contains a summary of the initiative, a film, a photograph slideshow, a series of quotes about recovery (Our Voices) and, in two cases, an embedded playlist of YouTube films made by the recovery community.
These Communities pages also have four boxes which each lead off to another page, which either contain summaries, titles and links to films about the community that are from interview films in the People archive, or contain content generated by members of the community (e.g. a blog post from Huseyin Djemil of Towards Recovery, or a list of podcasts made by the recovery community).
The idea of our Blog is that we will regularly be posting a wide variety of different content. The page will not only contain posts related to our Recovery Voices interviews, but also include key information about addiction, recovery and treatment, latest happenings within the recovery communities with which we are collaborating, and relevant news and information from the wider world. We also hope to have contributions from guest bloggers from time-to-time.
The Extras section contains a wide range of content from our sister website, Recovery Stories, which David created back in 2013. There are four sub-sections to Extras, namely ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development), Articles, Healing Trauma, and Recovery Stories.
We are grateful to these people who are participating in our project.