Hi, I’m a volunteer/client with The Basement Recovery Project and have been for two months now. When I first moved into Halifax and started getting help from TBRP, I was broken. I was broken physically, emotionally and financially and I’d been a huge problem to my community for many years, sucking the life out of the system and services.
Going through the TBRP programme, something had “clicked”. Something has changed this time. I no longer wanted to be a leech to society and wanted to give back. I was quickly introduced to Kev, one of the Basement Recovery Builders and I have to say, what an inspiration he is. We are now really good friends. Kev talked about volunteering with an organisation called Slow the Flow, which helps slow the waters of mother nature. Last year, if you remember, many areas around Rochdale, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden etc suffered life-changing floods due to heavy rain. Their plan was to build fashionable but purposeful means to slow the flow of rainwater into the local drainage systems and came up with such a great idea (rain garden planters) that I wanted to help.
Me, Kev and two other friends went down and got stuck in. Following a few firsts, like working hard and working for free, I had the opportunity to meet the Mayor of Hebden Royd Town Council, Councillor Carol Stow who officially ‘opened’ the planters with a bit of a party and ceremony. It was the first time in my life that I had met a public figure not only for the right reasons, but to be recognised for all the hard work we did, as a team, together.
I explained what the idea was and how we quickly got down to business. I told Councillor Stow about the sense of pride and happiness felt by a man that, months earlier, couldn’t stop stealing and taking drugs to now being clean and doing stuff for nothing. Getting involved in a project like this not only helps to stop the rainwater, but it helps to stop the madness surrounding active addiction, it’s beyond priceless and I look forward to getting involved in more volunteering work.
It is easy to feel complacent in this beautiful summer of hot, dry weather – but heavy rainfall now could easily result in surface water flooding, as hard, dry ground sheds water more easily to the drains. For inspiration on the many ways to help Slow The Flow in urban areas, please visit our ‘You Can Slow The Flow’ pages: http://slowtheflow.net/you-can-slow-the-flow/