Members of 5 WAYS along with volunteers, staff and supporters from Forward Leeds travelled to Blackpool for the UK Recovery Walk on 9th September.
The walk is a national event celebrating recovery from alcohol and/or drugs. The focus of the UK Recovery Walk is a public education and outreach campaign that communicates by offering living proof of the reality of long-term addiction recovery.
Graham Hale, Group Worker at Forward Leeds said: “The Recovery Walk is a great show of unity and solidarity but being there you understand it’s more than that. You get the idea that recovery is not just possible but also desirable”.
Louise Maidens, Recovery Coordinator at Forward Leeds added: ”I was overwhelmed by the vast turnout of recovery services, it touched my heart. I have never in 15 years of recovery witnessed such an event. I was happy to be involved and take part to show the UK that recovery is possible and treatment/recovery does work.”
She said: ”We need to continue to make recovery visible all across the UK and the world”
Meeting up at 9am to get the coach through to Blackpool from 5 WAYS there was a real sense of community amongst those there, most of whom were in recovery from drugs and or alcohol, themselves.
The Forward Leeds party of 35 arrived at Blackpool at 11:30 just as the sun began to shine. They made their way to the start point by the South Pier with The Big One rollercoaster ride in the background. Police had closed the road along the front to allow the thousands of people who had dome to Blackpool to celebrate recovery to make their way along towards the tower.
With drums banging and people singing, the crowd made its way along the promenade, past Blackpool Tower to the Winter Gardens.
At the Winter Gardens, the party atmosphere continued with food, bands and a real sense of celebration and fun.
After a couple of hours of making new friends and sharing stories of their achievements since stopping using substances, the walkers made their way back to the coach for the return journey to Leeds.
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(thanks to Mia for the use of her photos)