On Saturday 4 September members of the Leeds recovery community stepped onto the paths along the city’s waterways for the Leeds Recovery Walk, to highlight that recovery from substance misuse is not only achievable but something to take pride in as well.
The walk is part of a series of national and international events and awareness-raising activities that take place in September, which is Recovery Month. Recovery Month is held to increase awareness, challenge stigma, and celebrate the success of those in recovery from all addictive behaviours.
The walkers met at the Forward Leeds site on Kirkgate in the city centre. They then walked along the River Aire and Leeds Liverpool Canal to 5 WAYS, the city’s hub for those in recovery from issues with alcohol and other drugs.
Carla Carr of 5 WAYS who organised the walk said: “It’s so important we do the Recovery Walk every year to support each other. The best thing about the walk for is that free feeling of euphoria we all get from each other in recovery, knowing we’ve been thought it and now we are supporting each other to achieve even more. People can feel the support they get from their peers who are recovering from addiction.
The walk was 3.5 miles and took in Leeds Dock, Brewery Wharf, Granary Wharf, and on past the Oddy and St Annes Locks before leaving the canal just before Armley Mills to walk to 5 WAYS.
Holly Fiddes who took part in the walk said: “Hopefully people will be inspired when they see our t-shirts and think these people are trying to do something. If just feels fabulous to be celebrating, today, with people who have been through similar things to you”.
The organisers of the Leeds Recovery Walk did so as the national Recovery Walk in Newcastle has been postponed until 2022 due to COVID.