Towards Recovery
Aug 2023
Justin conquers 70 mile ultra-marathon

After nailing the London Marathon, Justin conquered 70 miles through historic Hadrian’s Wall country as part of The Wall Rat Race event. He kindly used this opportunity to raise awareness of the work we do and to help us raise a small amount to top up our funds, helping to keep our services free for those who need it.

May 2023
Recovery stories podcast series launches

The series celebrates the lives and achievements of people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. It provides a powerful voice of recovering people and their allies that acts as a strong source of advocacy, and encourages and supports the development of peer-led recovery communities. The team invited Huseyin to be the first episode!

Apr 2023
1% challenge launched

The team committed and invited others to join the 1% challenge – improving just 1% per day to show that small changes can lead to big impact.

Feb 2023
Lent blog series starts

Huseyin observed the 40-day period of fasting and prayer, giving up watching TV during this period and committed to writing a short article for each day of lent in the hope that it might inform and inspire others in their recovery journey as well.

Dec 2022
Celebrated our 10 year anniversary
10 years on and we’re proud to have grown, but in a way that means we still have one on one connections with people which is so important to us. We enjoyed celebrating at our Christmas Henley Recovery Cafe evening.
Dec 2022
Recovery Cafe member publishes first book

We met Sarah through the Virtual Recovery Cafe and were delighted to support her to publish her first book of poems. It was brilliant to see it all come together and fantastic to see them in all their glory in print.

Oct 2022
We received more lottery funding

Thank you to The National Lottery Community Fund for recognising us again. This grant allows us to continue to run our programmes, courses and support groups and also for us to develop them further.

Sep 2022
We're featured in Rooftop News Real Voices series

The series amplifies underrepresented or misrepresented stories from people who have perspectives worth listening to.⁠

Sep 2022
Comedy and Music evening

Celebrating the resilience of people in recovery from addiction through the power of music and comedy.

Joined by special guests – including professional musician to the stars Phil Spalding and the team from The Comedy School. This Big Lottery funded event celebrated the resilience of people in recovery from addiction through the power of music and comedy.
Jan 2022
Launched our first audio book
We turned our book of daily reflections and invitations into a free audio book! After such a fantastic response to the facebook posts and printed book, we thought we’d make it more accessible by recording with our own voices.
Sep 2021
Henley Recovery Cafe re-opens after lockdown
We were proud of how were able to stay connected throughout lockdown, but agreed it was time to get back to our Henley Cafe and felt comfortable that it was the right time to do it.
Jun 2021
We launched our Podcast series

Speaking to people who have lived experience of recovery from addiction, people who have been affected by addiction and those working in the addiction and recovery field – in its many contexts. There is a lot of information about addiction, but people get better and their stories need to be visible to give others hope.

Jun 2021
We launched the School of Unlearning

This free 6 week course is designed to help people learn or un-learn something through raised awareness, of ourselves, the world around us, and the things we spend our time doing. People with a substance use issue are often isolated and try to manage on their own. The School of Unlearning (SOUL) Course helps people address their substance use, empowering them with information and a new level of understanding.

Jun 2021
Defining our brand strategy and launching our new visual identity

With thanks to the award-winning team at Studio Texture.
An opportunity to define our brand strategy inline with ambitions for the future of the organisation, resulting in a new and exciting visual identity and a new website designed by the team at Lumberjack.

Dec 2020
We published our first book!

Towards Recovery – Book of reflections and daily invitations
What started as a daily facebook post for Recovery Month turned into a rich, nourishing and collaborative experience resulting in our first book.

Oct 2020
World Federation Against Drugs

Huseyin shared the virtual stage with Bob DuPont (former Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and White House Drug Czar). sharing how we’ve built our community and maintained our engagement during Covid-19.

Mar 2020
Recovery Cafe goes Virtual!

In response to the pandemic, when services started to close, we knew we had to find a way to engage and keep going. We switched our monthly in-person Recovery to Zoom and started straight away. Moving from monthly to fortnightly, we’ve been going ever since, with a friday 1hr drop in session, featuring a short talk and group discussion.

Nov 2019
Huseyin speaks at First regional forum on drug addiction and recovery in Belgrade, Serbia

The Forum is being organised as part of the ongoing regional project which is a joint cooperation between World Federation Against Drugs and three leading Civil Society organisations in the Balkan region. They work within the recovery field and providing support services to active users, individuals in recovery and members of their families, and they are actively involved in shaping drug policies in their countries.

Jun 2019
Awarded National Lottery Funding for 3 Degree Change Course

Our 6 week course is designed to engage and support people that have a problem relationship with drugs and alcohol, and who for whatever reason, can’t access mainstream treatment services that are mainly open during office hours.

Jun 2019
Huseyin wins Troubleshooter of the Year award at the DB Recovery & Mclean Deconstructing Stigma Awards.
These awards celebrate people in the recovery and addiction field who demonstrate dedication and innovation. Huseyin won for being a transformational leader, troubleshooter and a respected Recovery Champion.
May 2019
Launched our ‘Evening with’ Series

Inspiring evening talks with guest speakers followed by open mic sessions. Topics included: women in recovery, health and wellbeing, faith in recovery, understanding gambling, impacting others, understanding Hep C and finding freedom.

Speakers included: Chris Lambrianou – former gangster and Kray associate.

Mar 2019
Comedy Course | Laughter in the Best Medicine

In partnership with the London School of Comedy

Our ‘Laughter is the Best Medicine’ comedy course was designed to enable people to communicate elements of their lived experience of addiction, recovery, mental health, the criminal justice system etc, by using humour so that they could raise awareness of their experiences.

Our 7 week improv course operated within a closed and safe group, and the last session performed infront of a select audience.

Aug 2018
Peer Mentoring in Drug and Alcohol Services

In partnership with Janus Solutions and Enigma Drug and Alcohol Consultancy Hosted at the Black Cultural Archive Centre, the event formed part of a consultation to understand the role and scope of Peer Mentoring in Drug and Alcohol Services, looking at gaps and areas for improvement. Designed for Commissioners and Policy Makers, Peer Mentor Coordinators and the most important group – Peer Mentors themselves.

Aug 2018
2.0 Launch Recovery Cafe, Henley and Oxford

We re-opened our Henley Recovery Cafe with a revised format focusing on our asset based community development approach (ABCD) and our three pillars – initiating recovery, sustaining recovery and community integration. We also opened a second location in Oxford, hosted by our friends at ACT.

Our cafe evenings now included structured team building activities, themed evenings and extended opportunities for peer support facilitated by a growing number of our volunteers and partners.

Jul 2018
Awarded National Lottery Funding for our Out of Hours Project

Addiction and other helping services typically operate Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm, with occasional evening and weekend slots.

We used this round of lottery funding to fund our Recovery Cafes and all our other ‘out of hours’ services (evenings and weekends), to rent community venues, fund marketing campaigns, and provide initial sessional staff payments.

May 2018
Awarded Community Interest Company (CIC) status and formally welcomed Justin Whitlock as a Director.

A sea change for us as an organisation and the point at which we moved from being a self-described ‘family initiative’ to having full CIC status. Justin was the natural choice to join our Board of Directors – a friend, colleague and skilled therapist who shares the TR ethos and has championed our movement from the beginning.

Jul 2017
Westminster Briefing - National Drug Strategy Prison Strategy and Reform 2017

Huseyin was invited to chair the Westminster Briefing on implementing the Governments 2017 strategy.

Feb 2019
Supported the UK Declaration of Recovery Rights, House of Commons Session.

We were delighted to be a named signatory on the Declaration created by our friends at Faces and Voices of Recovery UK. This call to action supports the underlying principle that people in recovery have a right to respect and dignity and to live free from stigma and discrimination.

The declaration sets out fundamental rights for those in recovery including access to quality care, healthcare and meaningful political representation.

Mar 2016
United Nations | UN Office on Drugs and Crime, CND 59th Session, Vienna

Invited by Recovered Users Network and Turkish Green Crescent Society to partner for a joint presentation at the CND 59th Session, in preparation for the special session of the General Assembly on the World Drug Problem.

Topics included: drug treatment, human rights, abolition of the death penalty, fighting organised crime, health & recovery.

Huseyins presented an insight into different recovery models, with evaluation of current services provided to people seeking recovery and those who have undergone rehabilitation.

Nov 2015
Health and Wellbeing in Recovery - our third Conference

Designed to host a national conversation for those living life beyond treatment demonstrating how to integrate past experiences into a better future.

A panel of speakers led discussions focusing on health and wellbeing, using the arts to support recovery, the growing need for grass roots community organising and peer support.

Special guest and endorsement from: Phil Spalding, Professional Musician working with artists including Elton John, Mick Jagger and Robbie Williams. Supporting organisations included: Hep C Positive Direct, Coreplan, Beyond Recovery and Bodysense.

Sep 2014
Our first Theatre night! Mum Can You Lend Me Twenty Quid

Adapted from the memoir by Elizabeth Burton Phillips MBE, Founder of DrugFAM. This one-hour play tells the heart-breaking story of Nicholas and Simon Mills.  It follows their journey into Heroin addiction, from school age through to adulthood and the strain their addiction placed on their family and their relationship with each other.

Oct 2014
Building a Recovery Community… a year on - our second Conference!

Committed to following up on the success of the connections and commitments made in the previous year, we hosted our second conference at the Recovery Cafe in Henley.

This event gave people in recovery an opportunity to take to the stage with their inspiring stories, stimulating powerful conversations themed around addiction, recovery, bereavement support for families and a topical debate around the increasing popularity and use of legal highs.

Special guest and endorsement from: John Taylor, Duran Duran
Guests included: DrugFAM, Centre for Drug Misuse Research and author Anne-Marie Cockburn.

Nov 2013
Building a Recovery Community - our first Conference!

Designed to connect people in recovery with local supporting organisations and service providers including other charities and residential rehabs.

Our first large event hosted at the Recovery Cafe in Henley, attracting over 100 people and championed people in recovery leading the conversation with field experts and supporting organisations, many taking to the mic to share their story for the first time in front of others.

The event was able to continue the development of a Recovery community for Henley and surrounding areas, highlight the need for more funded residential rehab places and raised money for two local charities that had been providing treatment for long term recovery.

Guests included:
Public Health England, Centre for Policy Studies, International Substance Abuse and Addictions Coalition (ISAAC) Yeldall Manor residential rehab and The Ley Community.

Nov 2013
Our first Film Night! The Anonymous People

Granted with access from the UK Recovery Walk Charity we were able to provide guests with a free screening of the independent feature documentary The Anonymous People. Our first film night at the Recovery Cafe allowed for a discussion after the film, motivating others to change the addiction conversation from problems to solutions.

The night was so successful that we continued to use our Recovery Cafe evenings to highlight documentaries and films that we loved and felt were powerful messages of hope and inspiration for our group.

Nov 2012
Founded as a local initiative

Huseyin and Michelle rented a monthly spot at the D:2 Cafe, Henley-on-Thames. Joined by niece Jasmine Plowright, together they started to talk to friends and members of the local community, invited people over to discuss the idea over a coffee and the idea of a Recovery Cafe was born!

Nick Hughes created the first logo – a happy accident (as all of our best ideas have been) and paired it with our founding principle ‘no one can do it for you and you can’t do it alone’. We’ll always be grateful to Nick for our first visual identity and for all the design hours and our founding principle that remains with us.

The Recovery Cafe started as a monthly event, offering a safe space for people to join others in a welcoming environment. With no sign up or commitment, connections were made over complimentary coffee and cake, attracting a regular group of people from Henley-on-Thames and surrounding areas throughout Oxford and Bucks.