Taking ‘Building Recovery’ into Communities

5 WAYS workers Kim Kaur and Amy Skelhorn are leading a new initiative for Leeds.

They are aiming to work with people, now abstinent from alcohol or drugs, outside of the traditional structure of a drug and alcohol service.

Kim said: “We’re taking the same 5 WAYS ethos of connecting with people, learning, being active, giving and being mindful, and we are using it to support people away from the 5 WAYS building.

“The first step is to introduce ourselves to a range of local mental health services, hostels, criminal justice services and hospitals and let them know we are there for people who used to use alcohol or drugs”.

“Our role is to help people build their self-esteem and confidence. To support them to get to where they really want to be in their lives and offer some relapse prevention support at the same time.”

Although the pair will be based at 5 WAYS they will be spending much of their time working in the community with people who have struggled to engage with sustained recovery programmes in the past.

Amy said: “We’re not there to replace any services that already exist. We’re filling a gap, that has been identified during lockdown, of how do we reach people to support them if they can’t easily get to a particular building or meeting.

“We’re here to support people who find engaging with services after they have become abstinent difficult, by reaching out in new ways to help them sustain their recovery. We’ll work with people to focus on what matters for them and part of that will be identifying local community groups, courses and services where they can find continuing practical support”.