This year’s event took place on Sunday 16th June, again at the Arden Road Social Club, and again completely sold out. Initial estimates of the days fundraising matched last years at around £5500, with other activity monies still to come – amazing! Shortly after the event, I commented on the MHD facebook page:
“It is a week ago since the 2nd Martin’s Happy Days event and I felt I had to say a little something. I wanted to post something after getting home on the night but I just couldn’t find the words, and a week later I still can’t find the right words to express all my emotions, thoughts and feelings but here are a few that are on my mind …
A little over two years ago I met a guy at The Basement Recovery Project (in the dingy basement of the YMCA). I remember the instant likeability about him, you know, that gut feeling you get about people? I knew this guy was a good guy. But I also knew he was not well. I could sense the deep dark internal pain he was suffering. I knew, because I wasn’t well either, I had struggled with my own issues. And that’s why we were both at The Basement.
I only met this guy a few times and we didn’t speak for long, but each time we did, my fondness grew, and the last time I saw him I had even remembered his name – Martin McGinley.
The very next day, he was gone.
Two years on, and I still ask myself “could things have been different?” But I never get an answer, just more questions.
But this is what I do know:
It took me quite some time to find and engage with The Basement Recovery Project, but I made it through their Recovery Programme and I am fortunate to be here to share this with you.
They have moved from the YMCA into a dedicated Recovery Hub on Carlton Street and it is a much more welcoming environment with lots of space and recovery activities.
The programme continues to be revised and now achieves a success rate 4 times greater than the national average. TBRP services have expanded and the programme is now being delivered in Huddersfield and Dewsbury.
The recovery community continues to grow and there are more people to spend time with those who are new.
TBRP continues to champion Recovery and the stigma associated with addictions at national and local level. They are recognised as “Probably the best UK example of a dedicated recovery community” by the National Recovery Lead for Public Health England, Mark Gilman.
So The Basement Recovery Project has come a long way in the last two years, and things ARE different. I will never know if they are different enough for someone like Martin but I will continue to do what I can to help others to achieve and sustain recovery. It is with your help and support that I have a place where I can do that. The support of everyone involved in Martin’s Happy Days contributes to TBRP’s continued growth and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You are amazing people”.
And here are a few words from Martin’s son:
“It’s difficult to find the words to explain what Martin’s Happy Days means to me personally. Since the very first conversations about holding an event like this took place, I still to this day feel so overwhelmed and taken back by everyone’s love and support. It’s an incredible feeling to know each year people can gather in a celebration of my Dads life, through kindness, humour and of course music.
It goes without saying what an amazing cause this is for; to know we are contributing to such a wonderful project means absolutely everything to me and everyone else that’s involved with Happy Days.
Long may it continue!”
Article featured in RecoveryTimes issue 5
Photos from the event can be found on the Martin’s Happy Days Website.