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Recognise, Value, Change – Embed

In partnership with Active Calderdale

Why does the basement project value physical activity?

When you’ve been in addiction for 15,20 or 30 years you don’t even know who you are or what you like or what you don’t like. So what we do is give people the space and the opportunity to discover what they like and what they don’t like or who they are and who they’re not and sport and activity is used as a tool to do that, discovering who you are.

Recovery for me is very much a model of kinship, common purpose between people and sport and exercise is a perfect place for that kinship to take place.

Before we got involved with Active Calderdale we knew that physical activity was especially relevant in somebody’s wellbeing – getting well from addictions. Our structured programme focuses on the four elements of spiritual, physical, emotional and mental and whilst we can directly address the physical through sport or being active, what it also does is touch on the spiritual, the mental and the emotional as well.

We also invite people in from the outside from the community and that in itself shows those guys out there that recovery is here, that people do get well and give back to that community, and what’s been great about the initiative with the council is that, I think around 25 to 30 per cent of the people involved in it are coming from outside our recovery community to get involved. That’s really important because without that we don’t break stigma…

Running for your life – a couch to 5k review

You will have seen The Basement Recovery Project message, “Freedom from Drink, Freedom From Drugs, Freedom from Addiction… Freedom from FEAR”  Our whole recovery programme is about this – Freedom.  Joshua J Marine said, “Challenges are what makes life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful“.  For many, giving up substances is filled with fear, even for those who are not physically, mentally and emotionally addicted, there is often a fear of giving something up.  Quitting after many years of substance use is a huge accomplishment, but it’s not the end goal.  The end goal is to turn your life around, find purposeful meaning.   We offer many routes for people to find purpose again.  Bernadette is a great example and we are proud of her achievements.  Here are a few words from her about the Couch to 5K programme with Kev.

The first time I went to the track to participate in the 0 to 5k programme I felt apprehensive. I had previously tried several times to complete the programme on the treadmill at the gym. And I had only got to week 3/4 before quitting. The track looked huge and intimidating. I nearly turned back to go home and I questioned my sanity, I wasn’t a runner. Runners don’t look like me, nearly 50 and overweight. But everyone was very welcoming, and I decided to stay.

After the warm-up. Kev and I started to run around the track. I struggled to even do one lap. I couldn’t ever imagine running around it without stopping, and I certainly thought that running around it 12 times to complete 5k was impossible. With encouragement from Kev, after 8 weeks of the programme I eventually completed 12 laps of the track, and it was a fantastic feeling. I later completed a Huddersfield park run and that was a perfect day. I had had my park run barcode for about 4 years but didn’t have the motivation to go. I was so happy to run 5k. I felt like a hero.

Best of all, my daughter said she was proud of me, which felt amazing because she hasn’t ever had an opportunity to feel proud of me before. Running has given me self respect, confidence, well-being and laughter. The highs I get from running beat any received from using a substance.

The friends I’ve made through running are genuine and supportive. My life has changed because of this programme. It has influenced many areas of my life. My nutrition has improved, I now eat more fruit and vegetables and drink more water because I want my body to be well enough to continue running for many years to come.

Kev is an amazing coach. He really looks after us all. His passion for running is infectious and his knowledge of all things running is vast. I couldn’t have achieved any of this without his mentoring.

I am very grateful.
Bernadette

Read more about Kev and the Couch to 5K in his own story: Running for Recovery.

Running for Recovery – Couch to 5k

Running for Recovery – Kev’s Story – Couch to 5k

The Couch to 5k was set up for people in recovery to help them get well physically.

I know how much running and exercise has helped me with this but also towards my own mental wellbeing and I just wanted to pass this on in the hope that people can feel the way I do after just a 15-20 minute run, or even just a get together doing something a bit different with people that understand me.

For me running was never on the cards. I never thought that it could be so beneficial to my everyday life and that of my family.

As an addict, my family were dragged through addiction with me, but I now get the chance to try again, this time, by them being involved in my recovery. The benefits of this shine through as we are a very happy and healthy family.

Just 30 minutes of exercise a week can add years to your life and who wouldn’t want that now you’re substance-free or in the process of being so.

We now are trying to get the community to join us in the hope we can rebuild bridges and reduce stigma by showing we are people too and no different to non-addicts.

If anyone would like to join us the dates and times are on the posters for Halifax and Huddersfield. They are posted on our Facebook Pages Calderdale in Recovery and Kirklees in Recovery and you can contact me via the Basement Recovery Project.

All welcome whether you’re in recovery or not.

Kev.

From no hope, isolation and loneliness to The Great North Run!

18 months of training with a group of 10 very motivated and hard working runners. All from disadvantaged backgrounds. One fantastic trainer, ex-professional international rugby player, Damian Gibson (DG Ozfit), who was actually one of this year’s local heroes. As a team, we were privileged enough to represent the “Home Run Project” team in the promotional video which was partly aired on the BBC.

Oh we do like to be beside the …

A Big, Big Thank you from us, David and Brenda for our enjoyable day trip to Whitby.

Despite the delays on our outbound journey, we had an amazing, non-eventful and fast journey home.

We cannot ever remember seeing as many people in a resort before, quite a contrast to our time there in January! The fact it was annual Regatta Day and the weather was good compensated.

Embarrassing to say negotiating the wall to wall people and the cobbles made us really recognise our ages, Darby and Joan! Our Boat Trip outside the Harbour was recorded on camera, thank you, Gina. Over lunchtime, we found a fishery recommended by Trip Advisor. Both of us voted they were the best fish and chips we’d eaten in years.

We cannot thank the Basement staff enough for the amazing help and the funding which gives such hope to those who have almost lost hope for recovery in Halifax, Huddersfield and Dewsbury, and for everything they have done and do for the families.

David & Brenda

David and Brenda on board with the Basement Recovery Project in Whitby

 

Calderdale Community Recovery Builders Action Plan

Our aim is simple: To champion alcohol and drug addiction recovery in our local communities, and to demonstrate that you can get well in the same place where you became ill. We do this on a regular basis while working towards the strategic aims and objectives of Calderdale in Recovery by aligning our activities to a set of key actions described here …

Kirklees Community Recovery Builders Action Plan

Our aim is simple: To champion alcohol and drug addiction recovery in our local communities, and to demonstrate that you can get well in the same place where you became ill. We do this on a regular basis while working towards the strategic aims and objectives of Kirklees in Recovery by aligning our activities to a set of key actions described here …

The Home Run Project – With TBRP

My level of fitness has increased massively and with this, there are the usual benefits; sleeping better, feeling happier, a massive change in my attitude and my overall outlook on life is much brighter. Find out how you can benefit from the Home Run Project, it could be the start to a whole new way of life …

Volunteering with Slow The Flow Calderdale

I’ve just got back from a great walk up Mount Snowdon, alongside 12 friends and the fantastic staff of Activate. At first, when I was asked to do the walk, the usual questions came to the fore – What will I need to wear, can I do it in jeans, etc. The trip was specifically to see the sun setting over Snowdonia…

Snowdon Madness – TBRP Conquers Snowdon

I’ve just got back from a great walk up Mount Snowdon, alongside 12 friends and the fantastic staff of Activate. At first, when I was asked to do the walk, the usual questions came to the fore – What will I need to wear, can I do it in jeans, etc. The trip was specifically to see the sun setting over Snowdonia…

Alcoholism affects the whole family – and so does recovery!

The Basement Recovery Project is and has been an invaluable source of friendship and support not just for my partner as he found his feet in recovery but for the whole family throughout and beyond.

Tough Mudder 2017 with CiR

calderdale in recovery - tough mudder participantsI had heard of Tough Mudder before, but I can’t say it is something I would have given much thought to in the past. To be perfectly honest, in the past, I was far too consumed by paranoia and self-pity to even consider the idea that Tough Mudder was something I could complete or that it was something that I would actually enjoy doing! When I was still actively using drugs and had not yet found recovery, there was absolutely no chance that it was something I would have done.

Tough Mudder is a brilliant team building event. It is exhilarating and fun. It tests your physical and mental abilities. It is about twelve miles long with about twenty obstacles along the way. Some of the obstacles included electrocution, others jumping into ice cold water and then there were the ones where you had to climb and have the strength to get over them – as well as helping others to get around the course!

I was actually pretty excited when I was asked if I wanted to take part with eleven others from Calderdale in Recovery. Through taking part in few activities since coming into recovery I am (slowly but surely!) learning to overcome any anxieties that I may have around them and just get involved! I am yet to regret it and usually end up really enjoying myself!

The whole day was funny from the minute we got on the mini bus. Jo doing her usual live feeds and Chris putting his heart in soul into singing along to a Vanessa May song!

There are quite a few moments that stood out. It was nice that I was able to help some of the others get around some of the obstacles and it was lovely how grateful they were for my help. There were also moments when I needed help myself – and I was surrounded by fantastic people to support me, all of whom just wanted to make sure that we all made it round. I felt part of a great team; it was a real bonding experience.

At one point, we reached a section called ‘mud mile’ – where you had to clamber over big mounds of mud and through water. They were blasting out ‘Gangham Style’ through the speakers. I turned around to see Jo and Sam dancing away (whilst all the other people around us were looking pretty serious and drained at this point). Next Kev started dancing and I couldn’t help but join in. Every time we got to the top of one the mounds we stopped and danced. I think everyone else thought we were mad – but it was a right laugh. Looking back at the video of this makes me smile and it’ll definitely be a happy memory that stays with me!

I also had loads of fun play fighting in the mud with Jay and Sy. They might take any opportunity to take the mickey – which is usually funny – but I knew that if I needed support at any point doing the obstacles they would be there to help me if they could.

At the end of the day and even still now looking back on it I feel quite proud of myself. I was absolutely shattered at the end of it – but in a good way, like I had achieved something!

If anyone was thinking about getting involved with any of the Calderdale in Recovery activities but were unsure I would encourage them to do it;

Don’t hesitate – life is for living innit!

Luke.

 

LIKE the CiR Facebook Page for more information on CiR and JOIN the group for updates, news, help and advice.

 

Fundraising for a Town Centre Defibrillator

Calderdale in Recovery meet with Holly Lynch MP to discuss fundraising for a new defibrillator for Halifax

Calderdale in Recovery meet with Holly Lynch MP to discuss fundraising for a new defibrillator for Halifax

Within the past week or so we have started promoting a new project within Calderdale in Recovery. The hope is that we will raise enough funds to purchase a defibrillator that will be accessible in Halifax Town Centre 24 hours a day. If someone suffers a heart attack then quick access to this equipment can literally mean life or death.

I’m told that, currently, there are at least 6 accessible defibs in Sowerby Bridge and three in Todmorden (purchased through some impressive fundraising in those local communities) so I find it shocking that we do not have one in Halifax town centre that can be accessed by anyone who needs it at any time of day.

Many of the members of Calderdale in Recovery feel compelled to give something back to our community – something that we already do by supporting local projects such as Incredible Edible and Slow the Flow project. Many people who have seen their lives consumed by drug addiction and alcoholism appreciate the assistance, support and kindness that has helped them to come out the other side. It is also no secret that when in the grip of this horrible illness, individuals can have somewhat negative effects on those closest to them and the wider community – so once abstinent many are keen to give something back and make amends.

We have a few ideas up our sleeves for fundraising and raising awareness and we would really appreciate any donation through the JustGiving page – you never know, it maybe you or a loved one that benefits from a defibrillator in the future!

This week we met with Holly Lynch MP who was thrilled to hear about this project and the work of Calderdale in Recovery – she also gave us some good ideas for how to reach our goals.

If anyone wants to get involved or support this project in any way then they should definitely speak to a Calderdale in Recovery Builder via their Facebook Page! Let’s do this!

Donate

Donate via the JustGiving Page

I’ve found an internal calmness I never had before

Our Yoga classes in Huddersfield have been a welcomed therapy for those who have given it a go.  Our tutor, Emily, gives us an insight into how it became a way of life for her.

My journey began on the Yoga mat, In 2008 during a very tough period in my life. I was in my second year of University feeling anxious and depressed, struggling to engage in social situations and I often felt afraid to leave my flat. Up until this point, I had been taking various drugs for about 3 years. This took its toll in a way that meant my ability to function in my day to day life became a real struggle. After I accidentally caused a flat fire and broke my wrist on a night out, I realized I needed to journey down a new path, one that would lead me to better mental and physical health.

I started to attend a yoga class, once a week, with a wonderful teacher called Edward. This Yoga class helped me deeply transform my life, I hold my teacher in great reverence, as he taught me so much. I can say to you in all sincerity, yoga and meditation healed me in a way that nothing else ever has. It gave me the ability to be in a safe space with other people while working through challenging emotions. I started to develop a deeper physical awareness of my body and was able to work through some energetic blockages. I became a regular at the class and in 2010 my Teacher advertised a Yoga Teacher Training course. I just had to continue the journey. Initially, the pull to do the yoga teacher training course was more a personal step to deepen my own journey. However, on completion of the 2-year training, I flowed quite freely into a teaching role, I had great gratitude for what I had learnt on the training and felt I would like to share this with others.

Yoga is a way of life, a set of principles that I live my life by. Yoga is mastery over the mind, to guide the spirit to what is called Samadhi (bliss). In a beginner yoga class, we focus on Asanas (postures), Pranayama (breath control), Dhyana (meditation), and of course that wonderful point in the class we all enjoy, relaxation. Yoga has a deep and rich ancient philosophy, originating in India, it is scientifically proven to have great benefit on our mental and physical health. Yoga in Sanskrit means ‘Union’ with the body, mind and soul.

This phrase gets thrown around a lot however in our western culture, without people always fully understanding what that means in all its aspects. The 8 limbs of Yoga are a key point of study for any Yogi (male) or Yogini (female) wanting to take a step further on their journey, and therefore I encourage anyone interested in practising yoga to also understand the philosophy, as it has so much to offer. I have named this practice of Yoga Santosha after one of the limbs of yoga, which means contentment. I believe no matter whether we are a beginner or have been practising for many years, we should remain content and as my yoga teacher use to say, “keep the beginners’ mind”. Yoga is not a religion, it has a moral code of how to live your life. I believe yoga is an open path, one of personal self-discovery, whether Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or any other religion, you can practise yoga, it is non-sectarian.

In conclusion, Yoga can reveal many life lessons to us, it is ongoing and there is always more to learn, and more to uncover about ourselves. Yoga is a personal experiential journey. If you choose to come to a yoga class, come with an open mind and open heart, this way you will surely receive all that you need from the practice. You may just find some transformational shift begin to happen in your life, one that you never dreamed could be possible.

Emily
Find Emily on Facebook

“I am a complete Yoga novice but thought I’d give it a go… I’ve enjoyed it so much and get so much from it, it is now part of my weekly routine. The class is taught on the teachings of Hatha and Kundalini yoga practises.

The practice brings so much peace to the mind and body through incorporating asanas (yoga postures) with pranayama’s (breathing exercises).  We work on core strength, stretching, balance, repetitive postures, breathing and relaxation techniques. Anyone can join in as the class is open to all levels, you listen to your body and work at the level comfortable to you. It’s a fun and dynamic class.

The Kundalini aspect emphasis’ on breathing, meditation, chanting and tuning into the chakra’s – this is really good for calming the mind and Emily has such a calming relaxing tone to her voice it’s captivating.

I’ve found greater flexibility already in my body although I’m not going to even attempt the headstand !, and an internal calmness I never had before. I love it and hope the Basement is able to make Yoga a permanent fixture.”

Many Thanks
Ninder
Participant

Yoga Classes are run at Union Bank:

Service users: £2
Low waged/Concession: £5 (£25 block booking for 6 weeks)
Usual price: £7 (£35 block booking for 6 weeks)

Intermediate class: Wednesday’s: 6.30pm – 8.00pm
Beginner class: Currently Friday’s but starting 7th September Thursday’s: 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Women’s Recovery Retreat

“We spent two wonderful days just outside Settle at Hortons Women’s Retreat in the first weekend in June. To be honest, the thought of 15 of us all together came with a slight nervousness as to how we would last an entire weekend. Not everyone knew each other from across the TBRP hubs so it was a great way to connect and do some bonding, especially as we were sleeping in bunk beds, cooking, and generally supporting one another.”

How life changes when you’re in Recovery

A few weeks ago, I went on a weekend trip to Ingleton with friends from Calderdale in Recovery. We were also joined by people from Kirklees in Recovery – which was nice as I got the chance to make new friends. We stayed at a place called ‘Pinecroft’ in a massive log cabin.

It was a beautiful few days away with some lovely people. We were all blessed with some lovely weather which made it even nicer! I had actually been to Pinecroft before (about two years ago when I was quite early into my recovery). I realise now that back then I didn’t fully appreciate the beauty of the nature, the greenery, the waterfalls and the wildlife. This time around, however, I did. This is because whilst being in recovery I have learned to look at the beauty of the things around me in a different way. To appreciate them and to have gratitude.

On Saturday, different groups of people chose to do different things. For me, it was a great day that I will always remember. About ten of us walked to the Ingleton Waterfalls and then walked around them. From start to finish it was fantastic. From walking along and seeing the beauty of the place, eating sandwiches next to the stream and even taking my shoes off and having a paddle, to getting covered in water from a bit of a water fight! It was a good few days in the life of Colin!

Before I came into recovery my weekends would have been so different. I would have spent most of my time isolating indoors. I would only go outside to find ways and means of getting more drugs – like shop lifting or trying to get my sister to give me money. I would never have noticed the beauty of anything around me.

But, thanks to The Basement Recovery Project and Calderdale in Recovery, I no longer need to live that life and now I have the opportunity to take part in lots of different activities that I would never have done before. I would encourage anyone in Recovery to get involved in things like the weekend away staying at Pinecroft. It’s great to socialise with others in recovery who understand what you have been through. The whole experience was good for my mind, body and soul.

Colin.

Why get involved in Recovery?

Fishing Group.

Ever since I was a child I had a passion for fishing and spending time amongst nature. At the age of 15, way back in 1965, I picked up alcohol and drugs. This was to control my life for the next 38 years.  I remember times when sitting by a beautiful lake or river on a summer’s day having picnics with my young daughters watching them enjoy the wonders of nature, and them getting excited when dad caught a fish. Although my passion for fishing never completely disappeared my focus, my obsession, was my addiction.

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Coast to Coast Walk by The Basement Recovery Project

 

TBRP Coast to Coast Walk

Day One

(190 miles to go)

Eight hardy souls set off from Halifax on 17th June with the aim of walking from the West Coast (Irish Sea) to the East Coast (North Sea). What were we thinking?

The journey to our starting point, St Bees in Cumbria, was uneventful apart from finding the only petrol station in England with antique pumps. It would have taken less time to fill up if we had drilled for our own crude oil and refined it. Nevertheless we arrived at our destination for about 11ish, dipped our toes in the sea, picked up our pebbles and did one. It is a custom for coast to coast walkers to take a pebble from one coast and throw it in the sea when they arrive at the other.

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Magical Music Recovery Evening

Calderdale Recovery Steps Music Event

A-musical-festival-todmorden-calderdale-recovery-steps

Calderdale Recovery Steps held its debut gig on Saturday 21st May to raise money for Home-Start Calderdale, a national family support charity that helps parents to build better lives for their children. The musical evening took place in the Gothic splendor of Todmorden Unitarian Church, which was acquired by the Historic Chapels Trust after the church closed in 1987 and restored, and is now a regular meeting place for Incredible Edible Project Todmorden.

For many people music provides solace, inspiration and healing. Tom Petty described it as;

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Pushing up Daisies

This event was part of a festival in Todmorden to inspire conversations around death and dying. And I was intrigued and excited straight away – just by the whole concept. Hasn’t every addict contemplated their own death at some point, either as a result of their using or as solution to the pain they are in? We’ve either coveted it or been driven insane by the fear of it, witnessed friends die in front of us or sadly missed the ability to say goodbye to those we loved. So who better to talk about this fascinating and highly emotive subject?

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Quit smoking with Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale

thumbnail_c_clarke2_photoyorkshire_smoke_free_logoChris stopped smoking with help and support from Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale after the team attended a support clinic at The Basement Recovery Project, a service which helps people overcome addictions to substances and alcohol and supports their recovery.

Take a look at Chris’s story here:

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Quizaoke

Quizaoke – Get it wrong, you sing a song!

I was sitting in the office, minding my own business and doing some work on the computer (yes I do do that sometimes!) when one word made my ears prick up, my heart beat faster and had me jumping to my feet. ‘Karaoke’.

Back in the day (before active addiction turned me in to a quivering, self-conscious wreck) Karaoke had been a favourite past time of mine. People tell me I can sing and I have a natural attraction to the limelight. With my confidence returned, thanks to recovery, I was desperate to give it another go!

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Diary of a trip to Eisteddford

Set off from Halifax just after lunch on the road to sunny Wales. Journey was surprisingly incident free. The height of activity was me dropping off a few times on the way. Got to Ruthin and drove around in a circle for a while until we found our hotel. When we finally did find it we were not disappointed. Read more

Bee Busy in Recovery !

Beekeepers Wanted !

A few months ago Stewart got in touch with the Halifax Beekeepers Association (HBKA) to discuss the possibility of people in recovery learning the art of beekeeping to help with their rehabilitation. To this end, Stewart, Colin, Michael and Richard took a trip to the HBKA apiary in Southowram to see what was involved.

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National Recovery Walk Birmingham

On a (surprisingly) sunny Sunday near the end of September them fearless Basement chaps set off for the annual Recovery Walk which was to be held that year in the tropical climes of Birmingham and which promised the usual blend of fun, insanity and flawless organisation.

Recovery_walk_Birmingham1

This last element (organisational perfection) was proven to be evident very early on as not one but two coaches arrived to whisk the ebullient assembly with all speed and luxury off to the Midlands. However, this excess of transport did little to dampen spirits or call forth omens of disastrous futures and everyone piled on to the selected coach full of hope, optimism and quite a lot of tea.

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