[Please note: The first post would normally be at the bottom right of these main website pages, but for the first week of the life of the website this Welcome page will remain top left—and therefore always feature on the Home page. When you look at the main People, Stories, Themes and Extras (other than Recovery Stories) pages, the first post is bottom right.]
Welcome to our new Recovery Voices website, which is the core part of our Recovery Voices initiative. My name is David Clark and I live in Perth, Western Australia, where I moved 14 years ago from South Wales. Some of you may know me from running Wired In and the Wired In To Recovery online community in the first decade of the 2000s. You can find out more about me here.
And my name is Wulf Livingston from Tregarth in North Wales. I’ve been a registered social worker for the best part of 30 years, and worked in the recovery field as service practitioner and manager, supervisor, commissioner and researcher for nearly 25 years. Today, my skills and knowledge of practice are used to support my dear friends at North Wales Recovery Communities (NWRC). Check me out here.
For our sins, we are both associated with academia, Wulf currently as Professor of Alcohol Studies at Wrexham University in North Wales. I used to hold a professorial position at at Swansea University, but took early retirement in 2006 and have since been a Professor Emeritus of Psychology.
We first met in 2000, not long after David had seen the light and ‘retired’ from his career as a neuroscientist and started working in the addiction recovery field. I was managing CAIS drug and alcohol treatment services across North Wales. A couple of years ago we were communicating across the world and realising how similar our passions still were for recovery and recovery communities, as well as for social justice issues. David then visited my wife and I in Tregarth last year and I introduced him to various elements of NWRC in Bangor. He was hooked. And so we began the development of this initiative.
Finally, we’d like to introduce you to our website developer, Ash Whitney of Wired Up Wales, from Cilfrew, near Neath in South Wales. Ash has been building websites for David for 23 years, is his close friend, and shares his passion for sport. And the Welsh rugby union team! We couldn’t do what we do without Ash.
Now, less about us!
The Recovery Voices project was developed 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 intend 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 also want to celebrate the lives and achievements of recovering people and peer-led recovery communities.
You can learn more about the Why, the What and the How relating to our project in this section.
To date, the project has involved us interviewing people at a distance, using Zoom (David) or Microsoft Teams (Wulf). The original films of the interviews are then edited into two forms of film clip, one set longer (mostly 4-10 minutes in length) than the other (rarely more than three minutes long). The longer films are posted on our Recovery Voices YouTube channel and are used for posts in the Stories and the Communities sections of the website, as well as for our Blog.
The shorter film clips are archived in our Recovery Themes YouTube channel. They are used for posts in the Themes section of the website that focuses on specific topics (e.g. Recovery Advocacy, Shame, and Connection), as well as for our Blog. The clips for a specific Theme, which come from one or more than one person, are linked together for a specific Theme by using YouTube Playlists.
The website contains various main sections other than the Home page: our Blog, which will be posting on regularly; People (which introduces our interviewees and acts as an ‘archive’ for all the films of an interview); Communities (which focuses on individual peer-led recovery communities); Stories; Themes, and Contact Us. Additional content is contained in the Extras section which has five parts: our Articles on addiction, treatment and recovery; Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD); Healing Trauma; Indigenous Healing, and written Recovery Stories. You can find more details about the website here.
We have 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. Some interviewees participated in more than one interview. Our interviews have allowed us to generate a good deal of content about three peer-led recovery communities—Eternal Media, founded by Marcus Fair; North Wales Recovery Communities (NWRC), founded by James Deakin, and Towards Recovery, founded by Huseyin Djemil.
We have already generated a good deal of content, not all of which is being shown on our launch date. We will be regularly updating the website (after the first week) and will start to interview other people after a break. However, we must emphasis the process of recruiting new interviewees will be a slow one, as a considerable amount of time is devoted to editing films and writing summaries. We have already edited over 300 film clips from our original 11 interviews.
We wish to express our sincere thanks to our initial interviewees and to the other people with whom we have discussed the project. We hope you enjoy reading our content and it is of value in some way or other.
PS. Please note that the most recent blog posts (with the exception this week of the Welcome post) appear on the Home Page. However, there is a random selection of three items on the Home Page for each of the People, Stories and Themes posts, and a total of three posts are randomly selected from the five Extras sections. If you refresh the page you will get a new selection in each case. The short film near the top of the Home Page is a random selection from a database of 30 films.