The closer my trip gets, the more excited and anxious I feel. It seems a very long time ago that I first applied for a Winston Churchill Fellowship, not considering for a moment I might succeed! So give it a go folks, its possible http://www.wcmt.org.uk apply by 19th September 2017.
I have had a wonderful few days starting with a service to celebrate recovery in Durham Cathedral. The recovery community hold the cathedral very dear to them, as an iconic building to many, it has also been a sanctuary for locals struggling with life in active addiction. In recovery it has offered the opportunity to give thanks and share celebration with family and friends. Bishop Mark (the Bishop of Jarrow) always welcomes the congregation with a genuine pleasure and gratitude to be amongst the recovery community. The recovery choirs sing together with such support of one another its humbling to watch and deafening when their friends and families cheer and clap. A stark contrast to active addiction and most definitely cause for celebration. Watch them here https://youtu.be/Ozc1A3YuMqc
I leave Durham and travel to Blackpool for the FAVOR UK AGM with CEO Annemarie Ward. As a trustee of the charity I feel strongly about the need to advocate for those who face hardship and stigma as a result of addiction and sadly sometimes in recovery. As a trustee not in recovery myself I learn so much from the board members who have around 80 years worth of recovery between them. The UK Recovery Walk is a large part of our mission and does a lot to raise awareness of addiction and recovery but above all its about unity, solidarity, being visible and coming together as a community. I am privileged to have people in my life who have lived in a way I can’t imagine and are grateful, humble and inspirational teachers.
The 3 days in Blackpool top up my recovery tank and fuel the fire to do more for young people. We have at Recovery Connections created a project to bring together under 25’s in recovery around Teesside and beyond. We want to inspire the same solidarity and unity for the younger generation of recovery activist’s, they are our future and full of promise. Connection, purpose and celebration with peers who tell similar stories will hopefully offer proof that its possible.
Next stop North Carolina, Virginia, San Francisco and Texas…