Rugby league legend Jamie Peacock, Jojo Kelly, from Capital Yorkshire Radio and current Leeds Rhinos player Mitch Garbutt, handed out certificates at the first Forward Leeds Recovery Graduation on Thursday 19 April.

The event saw 40 people celebrate their achievement in going through treatment with drug and alcohol recovery service Forward Leeds and then sustain their recovery.

Jamie Peacock said: “It’s truly inspirational to meet so many people who have picked themselves up and fought so hard and shown so much courage in their lives.

“Tonight is great for Leeds too. It’s real proof for people out there in the city that recovery from alcohol and drugs is possible. It’s a privilege to be here.”

The event took place at the John Charles Centre for Sport in Middleton, Leeds.

Anna Headley, Executive Director for DISC, the lead partner in Forward Leeds, said: ”We’re very grateful to Jamie, Jojo and Mitch for sharing in our celebration. I know their presence and time with us means so much to everyone here.”

Jo Byrden, manager of the 5 WAYS recovery centre, off Burley Road, where the graduates received further support, said: “It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces gathered together in one place and quite rightly celebrating with one another and recognising the hard work they have made in their journey to recovery”.

She added: “For so many of them, it’s not just about an end to substance misuse but about building a better life for themselves and moving forward. That’s what they are really celebrating.”

Graduation Photo with Mitch Garbutt, Jojo and Jamie Peacock

JoJo and Anna Headley applauding

Copyright 2016 Forward Leeds