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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The series amplifies underrepresented or misrepresented stories from people who have perspectives worth listening to.
Celebrating the resilience of people in recovery from addiction through the power of music and comedy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Huseyin was invited to chair the Westminster Briefing on implementing the Governments 2017 strategy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Public Health England, Centre for Policy Studies, International Substance Abuse and Addictions Coalition (ISAAC) Yeldall Manor residential rehab and The Ley Community.
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.
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.