Wulf Livingston describes how user Forums developed in Wales, both nationally and at a local level, where groups of people from different agencies, and outside these agencies, came together to talk about what was going on in the system, and discuss how they could become a voice for change.
He goes on to describe what was an agenda-less space where people in North Wales, most of whom had lived experience of addiction, would come together once a month to discuss all things recovery. Similar, but much larger, events took place every four or five months.
After seeing one person deciding to take the journey to recovery (successfully) after visiting the Towards Recovery cafe and talking with half a dozen people, Huseyin Djemil wondered what would the impact be of having a recovery conference in Henley. The first Towards Recovery conference took place in 2013.
Marcus Fair describes the Chief Constable of North Wales, Simon Shaw, as a champion of the recovery cause. He believed that people could change with the right help. Simon was a humanitarian, but he also knew that a lot of police money could be saved by helping people who had an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, and were high level offenders, to find recovery.
Marcus was funded by North Wales police to make a film about addiction and how people turn it around and find recovery, using both the police and people who had been in trouble with the police. He knew he had to find the ‘worst of the worst’ offenders for the film, because he didn’t want anyone viewing the film and then saying of one of the actors, ‘They didn’t really have a major drug problem.’