Towards Recovery
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.

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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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.

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.

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.

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.