It was after a few years of using other substances that things started to get problematic. My spending started to get out of control and I was selling my possessions to buy drugs…
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…
Thank you to Alex for writing and sharing his recovery story with us. He’s shown us that recovery is possible no matter the obstacles – not even a worldwide pandemic. We hope you find his story inspiring and it gives you the confidence to get in touch with us to see how we may be able to help you. When the pain of using becomes greater than the pain of not using, it’s time to get help. We can’t make that call for you, but we can help you every step of the way after that.
“If I hadn’t got that identification and connection with people who understood addiction from the start of my engagement with The Basement, I’d be alone, isolated and at risk. If I was on my own in my recovery, I wouldn’t have been able to start to repair relationships with the people I care so much about. Being around other recovering addicts is teaching me honesty and humility that I wouldn’t have had without a network of peers around me.” …
We are grateful to Kate (name changed) for writing and sharing her story about her relationship with alcohol and the journey into recovery. We hope you find her story inspiring and it gives you the confidence to get in touch with us to see how we may be able to help you. As we always say, we can’t make that call for you, but we can help you every step of the way after that. If Kate can do this, so too can you!
“I’d been drinking in the afternoon at work and shortly after I arrived home from picking my son up from school, the police came to my house. I was breathalysed, significantly over the limit and they arrested me. Spending a night in a police cell was something I never thought I’d experience.” …
We are grateful to Danny for writing and sharing his addiction recovery story with us. We hope you find his story inspiring and it gives you the confidence to get in touch with us to see how we may be able to help you. As we always say, we can’t make that call for you, but we can help you every step of the way after that. If Danny can do it, you can do it!
“I’d lost all control over any substances that came my way. I’d take anything and everything. I lived in chaos wherever I went and all aspects of my life were impacted by my using and drinking. Ketamine was a big issue too and very quickly affected my physical health in addition to my already deteriorating mental wellbeing.” …
As you will have heard, we are hosting numerous Zoom online meetings, not only for Social activities but Here & Now, SMART Recovery and even our Freedom Recovery Programme.
To find the timetable, please refer to our earlier post. You MUST contact CHART Kirklees or Calderdale Recovery Steps and be registered with either service to obtain the Zoom ID’s and Passwords. Note: The Tuesday and Thursday Open meetings are for everyone and you can get details of these from CHART, CRS or by phoning TBRP.
Here are general instructions for downloading Zoom to your phone:
- Go to the Play Store (Android) or App Store (iPhones/iPads) and search ‘Zoom.’
- Click on ‘Zoom Cloud Meetings’ – download and install – skip any payments.
- Open the Zoom application and click on ‘Sign Up.’
- Add D.O.B., email address, first and last name and agree to the ‘terms of service.’
- Click ‘Next’.
- An email will be sent to the email account you used above, so you can activate the account. Check both your ‘Inbox’ and ‘Spam’ mailbox.
- Once you have received the email, click on the ‘Activate Account’ button.
- It will then take you to the internet and will ask if you are signed up to a school- click ‘No.’
- Add in all your details i.e. First and Last name and make a Password and press ‘Continue.’
- You do not have to ‘invite colleagues’ or ‘attend a meeting.’ Once you have made up a password, return back to the app you downloaded and click you have ‘Verified the email’/ ‘Sign In.’
- Enter your Email and Password and ‘Sign In’.
- It may ask you for a fingerprint ID if your phone allows it, click cancel or OK.
- Along the top of the Zoom App, there should be different tabs i.e. ‘New Meeting, Join, Schedule, Share Screen.’
- Click ‘Join’- and enter ‘ID’ of the group you wish to join on the Recovery Timetable.
- Once you have added the ID, click ‘Join’. It will then ask you for a meeting password. Again password comes under ‘PW’ of the group you wish to join.
- You should then be signed in to the meeting.
- You can leave at any point by clicking the ‘Leave Meeting’ button. You can ‘Mute’ and ‘Unmute’ yourself if you wish for people to hear you and can also ‘Start Video’ if you wish for people to see you.
If you have any questions or require further information, please call the office and we will try our best to help out.
Zoom is a great App and can be used to set up your own meetings with friends and family. The free version has limits: time (40 mins), number of attendees (100), though 1-1 meetings have no time limit.
The following links are helpful if you wish to host your own meetings:
PC, Desktop, Laptop: – Zoom Sign Up link
Getting Started with: – Android
Getting Started with: – IOS
We are grateful to Marie for writing and sharing her addiction recovery story with us. We hope you find her story inspiring and it gives you the confidence to get in touch with us to see how we may be able to help you. As we always say, we can’t make that call for you, but we can help you every step of the way after that.
“I first got drunk when I was about 13. A friend had got hold of a couple of litres of vodka and we were at another friend’s house sharing it around. I hated the taste but I loved the feeling it gave me. I drank enough to make me really poorly but it didn’t put me off. These one-off binges would happen every so often through my teenage years but it was when I started university in 2008 that my drinking really took off.” …
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.
This is a brief account of Tosh’s relationship with drugs. It’s frank and told in his own words. Thank you, Tosh, for allowing us to share your story with the wider community and showing that a life without drugs is possible, even for those who never thought it was.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a bad kid. I know there was a time I was happy and normal but that was too long ago. I had an unhappy childhood, I was the second child of five. Dad was a pisshead. I’m really not sure of the why but being unhappy must have played its part…
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.
If you have been watching Grayson Perry’s ‘Rites of Passage’ on Channel 4, you may have seen Allen featured in episode 4 ‘Coming of Age’. The programme didn’t have time to explore why people ended up at The Basement Recovery Project and focused on the celebration of recovery. Allen’s account of his relationship with alcohol is raw, unedited and told in his own words. Thank you, Allen, for allowing us to share your story with the wider community.
Grayson Perry explores coming of age which starts with his visit to the Amazon where he witnesses the Tikuna people celebrate the transition of two girls to adulthood. Thankfully, we don’t do that here and he’s not suggesting we do, but he does think we can take something from it. He’s even more convinced after talking to London teens and people in recovery at The Basement Project (who he describes as “kidults”) – older people who can’t take responsibility for themselves or their lives. He sees both groups as reaching the end of one stage of their life and beginning another and wants to mark that in a celebration, something we don’t do enough of in recovery circles.
In this episode, Grayson explores coming of age which starts with his visit to the Amazon where he witnesses the Tikuna people celebrate the transition of two girls to adulthood. Thankfully, we don’t do that here and he’s not suggesting we do, but he does think we can take something from it. He’s even more convinced after talking to London teens and people in recovery at The Basement Project (who he describes as “kidults”) – older people who can’t take responsibility for themselves or their lives. He sees both groups as reaching the end of one stage of their life and beginning another and wants to mark that in a celebration, something we don’t do enough of in recovery circles.
Fiona’s story briefly touches on the struggles and consequences of addiction and you’ll see why we need to celebrate when we ‘come out the other side’.
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
Over the last 12 months, The Basement Recovery Project has been developing a pilot therapeutic treatment model for a 24/7, peer-led, sober living house in Kirklees, called Freedom House. The house is now fully occupied and has delivered some outstanding outcomes. We have achieved our main objective of offering a comprehensive programme of recovery support for individuals (for whom no housing would be a barrier) to continue their recovery journey in their natural community surroundings. The last 12 months have seen Freedom House offer all of the predicted interventions listed below, plus an assortment of unexpected outcomes:
- Relapse prevention
- Planned completion of treatment
- Reduction in harm associated with drug and/or alcohol use
- Reduction in re-offending and anti-social behaviour
- Referrals made to appropriate treatment services or for legal or specialist help and advice
- Independent living established and maintained
- Enhancement of community safety
- Reduction in homelessness and incidences of repeat homelessness
- Maximised income through welfare benefit, debt and money management advice
- Increased participation in resident’s local communities
- Stronger links with other agencies
- Better use of resources through co-ordinated access to housing and complementary support
- Opportunities for new life choices explored e.g. return to education, training or employment.
- Localised sober living alternative to in-patient rehabilitation
- Cost savings to the local authority and other services
At the beginning of the pilot project, we had identified a gap in the provision of female-specific recovery housing in Kirklees. Initially, three local women came forward who were at the beginning of their recovery journey and were currently living in unstable housing.
It took weeks to identify the right building which was in keeping with our values. We set about renovating the property to meet our high standards for residential sober living accommodation before developing a typical programme of activities for potential residents. With positions advertised for Residential Support Worker, we were fortunate that one of the successful applicants was a female WY-FI navigator, who had previously come through our recovery programme some years ago and was looking to move back to the area. In addition, regular meetings were convened with Emma Hanley, Contracts Manager for Kirklees Council. With Emma’s support, we quickly managed to acquire enhanced housing benefit rates for residents, making the project sustainable into year two.
Freedom House has now been continuously and fully occupied for the past twelve months. All residents have been referred into the WI-FI peer mentoring training programmes and have benefited greatly from the support offered by our partner service, for example, a successful application for funding was made to the WY-FI personalisation fund to enable the residents to take themselves and their children to Flamingo Land in Warrington. Due to the success of the pilot, we now have a waiting list for stage one accommodation which we feel further evidences the need for abstinent based therapeutic housing locally.
The new financial year will see TBRP coproduce our therapeutic community living model alongside Fusion Housing. They will help to add some local knowledge and experience of housing related issues, ensuring the model has an opportunity to embed itself within the Kirklees community, allowing for further growth and continued sustainability.
We have worked closely with the WY-FI team and as a result, we have seen the original assessment process modified and adapted to address some of the initial issues that we first encountered during the early stages of delivery. The end product is a coproduced, client centred, responsive referral and assessment process that responds effectively to the needs of our client group.
All residents of Freedom House attend or have completed, TBRP’s recovery programme which consists of group activities, held in our town centre hub, every day. In addition, all residents have proactively volunteered across both our Huddersfield and Dewsbury recovery hubs adding an element of continuity, structure and warmth to the environment.
Freedom House residents have passionately engaged in their own self-written, person-centred support plans, achieving many planned and unplanned personal goals along the way. An average support plan includes, but is not exclusive to, some of the below:
- Random alcohol/drug testing
- Weekly key worker sessions, including support plan updates
- Attending weekly resident meetings/activities
- Attending TBRP structured group programme
- Attending a minimum of three Here and Now / alternative therapy meetings per week
- Attending six mutual aid meetings per week
- Encouragement to take on service positions in local mutual aid meetings
- Volunteering in the Breakfast Club
- Completing a DBS Check
- Adhering to a weekly house rota
- Completing weekly food shopping together
- Completing housing application forms
- Referral to other external support services (CVS, college, Fusion Housing etc.)
- Receiving support in liaising with relatives and significant others involved in their support network (including children)
- Encouragement to meet own aspirations for employment, education, training, social and leisure activities
- Provision of relevant information to help access other appropriate services, such as counselling, advocacy or mediation.
- Receiving advice on issues around home maintenance and self-care
- Developing confidence in budgeting and domestic skills
- Assistance with securing Housing Benefit and maximising welfare benefits income
- Assistance with reducing rent arrears and debt
- Weekly house meetings to discuss and air any potential issues
- Assistance with finding and moving into permanent accommodation.
- Identifying appropriate agencies to provide specialist support or healthcare, and assisting with access to these to prevent admission to hospital or other residential establishments
- Provision of basic life skills i.e. cooking, cleaning and general budgeting skills
All clients are assigned their own key worker. Each resident is expected to work towards agreed goals and show motivation and commitment to their recovery and tenancy with us. Staff devise individually tailored plans in agreement with clients. These meet their needs as agreed in 1-1 sessions. Staff focus on following this plan as a structure for client support and as a guide to evaluating progress made. It is important that residents participate in planning their support and that they can involve other people in this should they wish to do so, for example, a family member or another worker they are confident with.
Key working sessions are conducted once per week but there is support 24/7 to assist with client’s needs. All key workers are in long-term recovery which clients, past and present, have found to be of great benefit. Key working sessions are an opportunity for the client and their key worker to discuss matters which underlie their drug and/or alcohol problems. Matters relating to welfare, resettlement, health, family, indeed anything at all can also be flagged up for action. Clients are encouraged to develop a rapport with their key worker and vice versa.
Freedom House has a living room, kitchen, bathroom and each individual has their own bedroom. The house is fully furnished and equipped, and residents can bring their own belongings to personalise their room. We prohibit television viewing in an individual’s room to avoid ‘isolating’ behaviour. All residents are encouraged to cook and eat communally in the evenings during their stay.
By working alongside the local navigators, all clients are also part of the system that is supported through the Multi-Agency Review Board (MARB), made up of representatives from Mental Health, Substance Misuse, Housing and Probation services. At the time of producing this report, seven individuals have currently benefited from the support the pilot project provides.
Many of the early issues surrounding the implementation of processes and pathways were ironed out in the first 6 months of the pilot. Initially, there were a few teething problems with regards to procedures around assessment and case-finding between TBRP’s staff team and the WY-FI team needing to be more robust. In a project of this nature, this is perhaps to be expected as working practices often differ. Through improved communication, this issue was dealt with swiftly and protocols put in place for going forward. Changes made include a joint assessment approach from WY-FI and TBRP, a more thorough case-finding process and confirmed discharge address to be documented at the point of assessment. In terms of learning, it is our belief that the above teething problems and issues could have been avoided if these protocols had been initiated at an earlier time.
In terms of housing benefits, it became apparent that this is a ‘postcode lottery’ in terms of grace periods (grace periods being an overlap of housing benefit across two properties. i.e. When an individual is in prison or rehab). To give up a property to move into sober living accommodation can be a huge decision in an individual’s journey and a potential barrier to accessing the most appropriate care. At the start of this project it appeared that grace periods were subjective but for this specific scheme, we have now attained a 12-week overlap for individuals meaning they have security and choice. However, this overlap is subject to a separate discretionary payment application and we are informed that the discretionary payments budget is not exhaustive. This has been absolutely priceless for those we work with and has allowed clients to try before committing, meaning there is a safety net for those that don’t feel the service is for them.
TBRP are currently in discussions with the Kirklees housing service Fusion Housing to help create a viable and safe alternative in the event that overlap housing benefit is refused. The hope is that Fusion will offer suitable temporary accommodation close by to our current property, so clients can initiate the therapeutic programmes on offer alongside the current residents of Freedom House, regardless of their entitlement to benefits.
The right structures are now in place to support the project and we have created a solid foundation on which to build its future. The project will be sustainable by utilising a peer lead in the house, supported by a part-time housing support worker.
The project has been well received by the local council and the housing team are keen to support us in our next stage of development. Within our first six months, the project was gifted a vehicle which is now attached to the sober living scheme. Alongside this, our current landlord is a qualified driving instructor and has promised to offer subsidised driving lessons to the residents of Freedom House to help them obtain a driving licence. This is a real asset to the project and its residents, offering access to more opportunities around mutual aid and social integration more widely as well as improving future employment prospects and confidence.
After discussions with the housing benefit department at Kirklees Council, they agreed to pay a higher rate of housing benefit to TBRP whilst also paying the rent for a client’s current property for a period of up to 12 weeks. This process would allow clients that have current tenancies to access our programmes of support while maintaining their current home. This will open the door to more Kirklees female clients being able to access the support available at Freedom House. Four of the beneficiaries were originally aiming for inpatient rehabilitation but opted to attend our community model when it became available. This represents a £32,000 saving from an already overstretched mental health budget that funds all inpatient rehabilitation episodes. This has been recognised by local commissioners who have expressed an interest in utilising our approach to release monies, previously spent outside of the Kirklees area, by investing it with ourselves, helping towards the sustainability of the project.
As with any project of this nature the most difficult part is to create traction and gain buy-in from local providers. In the middle of the year, one unfortunate piece of news was the incumbent drug and alcohol provider in Kirklees went into sudden liquidation bringing large-scale disruption to the local system. We are happy to report that after a period of remodelling we have worked alongside our colleagues at CGL to find a way forward and they have shown a real interest in our housing model being expanded.
Due to the risks associated with sustainability, we decided against taking on a second property as local landlords’ costs were prohibitive. More sensibly, we have now started to compile a waiting list and plan to use supported properties at Fusion Housing as a feeder into our sober living model. Fusion Housing will also support the long-term sustainability of the model by offering and taking over the management of more affordable multiple occupancy housing in and around the Huddersfield recovery hub. Clients on the therapeutic community living programme will also be able to access the bond bank scheme run by Fusion Housing which has been identified as a barrier to individuals obtaining suitable housing. This will enable our residents to move into independent living, while still receiving low-level support in the Huddersfield area. Hopefully, it will prevent them from feeling isolated and keep them around their newfound recovery community and friends.
With the advances made in developing a peer-led model, strong working relationships with the local authority and the inclusion of Fusion Housing, the next 12 months promise to be as buoyant and productive as our first year. The added social value of Freedom House cannot be underestimated and finding a more effective way to measure this added value presents a challenge. We plan to work alongside the Kirklees WY-FI and wider DISC (now Humankind) service for a solution. Special recognition needs to go to Michelle Monkman (lead navigator WY-FI) for her tireless support in helping to achieve the absolute best outcomes for our residents. Michelle’s warm approach and extensive knowledge of local provision have further enhanced client experience promoting more choices and opportunities for all.
TBRP would like to personally thank all at WY-FI including Mark Crowe, firstly for the opportunity to work alongside such a dynamic and client-focused organisation as DISC and secondly, for helping to launch and design a friendly, caring, safe and responsive model of hosing support that promises to serve the citizens of Kirklees long into the future.
TBRP’s therapeutic community living programme in conjunction with WY-FI continues to go from strength to strength, supporting women to achieve and maintain abstinence-based recovery in their own community. Alongside WY-FI, the previous twelve months have seen TBRP successfully deliver on and complete a 12-month pilot scheme to support the provision of abstinent based therapeutic community living for females in Kirklees.
Freedom House has been fully occupied for the past twelve months with four female residents currently engaging fully in their respective support plans and achieving individual recovery focused goals. All residents to date have been referred into the WY-FI peer mentoring training programmes and have benefited greatly from the support offered by our partner service.
The introduction of a ‘stage two’ house in partnership with Fusion Housing has allowed us to expand our offer to even more individuals whilst creating a safe ‘move through’ process that will support our tenants to acquire and maintain their own tenancies in affordable and appropriate local housing. Our new partners will support our clients to further enhance their budgeting skills whilst engaging them in back to work focused training, education and employment opportunities. The stage two house has been fully decorated and equipped to the same high specification as our stage one and further work will be carried out on the garden and patio area to help make the stage two house a home to be proud of.
In the last 8 weeks, two of our stage one residents graduated to the new stage two house and for the first week, all was well. During the second week, one of the ladies disclosed to our housing worker that alongside some family problems and the change in routine she had used alcohol whilst in the stage two house. A prearranged contingency plan was actioned that saw Fusion Housing provide our resident with safe accommodation until such a time as she was ready to move back into an abstinent environment. In less than 48 hours alongside the support from peers and staff, the lady in question was completely abstinent and back in the stage one house, fully engaging in recovery activities and mutual aid groups.
Some lessons were learnt during this process including the need for a pre-agreed contingency plan that manages the accumulated risk of relapse and the potential for homelessness for residents living in an abstinent environment. It was noted that the recovery community played a significant role (out of hours contact etc) in the reengagement of our resident and this factor will be implemented into all future risk management plans. This episode has also highlighted the need for a “Safe Bed” to be available at short notice to provide safe accommodation for any future resident that may have relapsed back to substance use. With this in mind, we are now in talks with our partners at Fusion about creating this safe space and making it available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Early conversations have highlighted that a void room could be created at a cost of £50 each week and having this available 24/7 would generate an annual cost of £2600.
The past 12 months working alongside WY-FI have proven to be beneficial for all, none more so than the 8 ladies that have spent time at Freedom House. The 12-month pilot scheme achieved all its aims (including some unexpected ones) and now sits ready to become part of the therapeutic pathway for women entering treatment for substance misuse in Kirklees. The first year has helped to save over £32,000 from the Tier4 budget for residential rehabilitation treatment, currently being held with the mental health commissioning team at Kirklees Public Health. We have approached the commissioner for mental health and it’s hoped that a percentage of the savings made in the coming year will be forwarded on to support the Freedom House project to expand further.
WY-FI supports people who are not engaging effectively with services and are experiencing entrenched needs in at least three of the following HARM area:
- Addiction to drugs and/or alcohol
- Mental ill-health
Our ethos is that these individuals:
- are supported by Navigators and Specialist Workers who build trusting relationships over time and who are service neutral
- receive person-centred support to achieve their hopes and aspirations
- inform future delivery models and innovation
And that by 2020 adults with multiple needs in West Yorkshire should have the opportunity of:
- a settled home
- positive health and wellbeing
- access to education and employment, and
- trust in a positive future
About Fusion Housing
Fusion Housing is a non-profit making charity working to help individuals who are experiencing housing related problems and need support with learning and employment.
- A range of Housing Support services for young people across Kirklees, including Young Parents, Refugees and Asian Women.
- A Bond Guarantee service to help individuals that do not have children, and on low income and who are in band C/D/E with the council to secure a private rented property in the Kirklees area
- A Managed Tenancy service that provides tenancies in shared accommodation let directly by Fusion Housing to clients aged 18 to 35 years old.
- An Advice and Specialist Legal Advice service helping with Housing matters and representation at Housing Possession hearings in the county court.
- A range of informal and accredited learning opportunities, information, advice and guidance to support young people into education, employment and training.
- A Food Bank service based in our offices in Dewsbury and serving the North Kirklees area.
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 …
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 …
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 …
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…
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…
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.
A great afternoon was had by all when Russell Brand dropped in at our Huddersfield addiction recovery hub, Union Bank.
Russell and I come from the same town in Essex, so it was great to talk the Essex lingo with him over a cup of Yorkshire tea.
Russell was visibly blown away by our hub saying he could feel the positive energy when he first walked through the door.
He took the time to speak to all our regular ‘citizens seeking recovery’ and stopping for several dozen selfies.
I explained to Russell how challenging it had been for a small community-based organisation like TBRP to transmit hope to those that are struggling with addiction in an environment where national treatment providers have historically called all the shots.
Russell suggested we make a short video together and he promised to post it on all his social media forums and anywhere else that may help raise the profile of the tireless work TBRP are doing in the communities they support.
He also promised to send 10 copies of his new recovery book “Recovery – Freedom from our addictions” and offered as many tickets as we needed to attend his new stand up show Russell Brand Re:Birth currently touring the UK.
True to his word the books arrived, the video went viral and 20 of our guys and girls have seen his show in Leeds and London. Russell has contacted me several times since his visit expressing his genuine support of our cause, and I quote:
The Basement Project is providing precisely the support addicts of all varieties need; community, connection and opportunities to grow. We should all be proud to be a part of such an advanced and beneficial venture that generates hope for individuals, families and society as a whole.
Indeed, his visit has already instilled hope. The video we made was posted in the local paper, which again, was shared on social media. 11 local citizens struggling in the darkness of addiction have already contacted the project and are now taking steps towards the welcoming luminance of recovery prevalent in all our hubs.
For this Russell… we could never thank you enough.
GB and hope to see you soon x
The Basement Recovery Project
If you live in Calderdale or Kirklees and have an addiction issue, contact us now and we may be able to help.
“I made a conscious decision in making this short film as it is something I wish I had been able to access and see a few years ago. I believe education is the key to alerting individuals to the risks associated with substance use and abuse and being able to recognise the signs, in both yourself and in others in your life. This should be done earlier in people’s lives to help reduce the risk of active addiction taking over and robbing you and your family of years of absence and pain.
Before coming into recovery my Friday night’s and Saturday mornings would have been spent either watching some rubbish on TV or just wishing the hours away with a book or DVD. Each day was basically a case of existence and reduction of my medication with loads of self-pity thrown in.
Yet in recovery I was asked if I wanted to go ‘Wild Camping’ for 24 hours which involved walking up Pendle Hill and sleeping in the wilds with just a bivvy bag, sleeping bag to lie in and a waterproof camouflage sheet (tied at each corner with rope on to a tree/branch on an incline) to keep the wind and rain off.
At first, I thought they were mad – but I agreed to go and it turned out to be a fantastic experience – although trudging up that hill in a downpour was hard going. I found it really tough on my legs since they have spent more time static than in motion. Yet I can honestly say that the ribbing of each other kept us either laughing. We had a smile on our faces from start to finish.
The views from the top of Pendle Hill, once the rain had stopped, were eye catching – valleys and beautiful countryside for as far as my eyes could see; unspoilt by council estates and housing.
On the Saturday morning, we all had a brew and packed everything away so there no signs of our stay left. Our litter was burned or thrown back into our rucksacks. This time, on the return journey, we hiked around the base of the hill and again the jokes, ribbing and laughter flowed.
I’d like to pick out one of the really funny bits. I could say it was when one of one of the girl’s feet sank into the wet, muddy ground and out came her foot minus her boot. Or when the boss was in her basher (our improvised tent) and she put a net bag over her head (I think maybe it was to keep slugs off – but to be honest she looked hilarious). It’s hard to pick one highlight because it was the whole experience and the slightly mad humour of those that I shared the trip with that was just fantastic.
It was hard going for me but I kept going and completed it, thanks to all who came, for their mental humour, fantastic outlook and the camaraderie.
So, anyone reading this who has been considering any form of recovery activity – I say do it!
You will love the experience and laughter plus all the care and consideration of your fellows and staff in recovery. I was all for dodging activities – but no more! Let the games begin as I will be there and so should you be.
Also, some massive thanks have to go out to Graham, Wayne and John from Activate who led us on this hike and shared their experiences of how to camp out in the wild and leave no footprint! Thank you, to everyone involved!
I’m really grateful that I was given the opportunity to be part of a wonderful and educational weekend – attending a mutual aid convention in London. It was great to be around like-minded people – many living their clean journey and others wanting and working towards that.
We had quite an amusing journey to London. I think we might have been the loudest people on the train. We were laughing, joking and playing cards all the way there. Someone joked that we were probably ‘the cleanest’ on the train as well! Just goes to show that you don’t need a substance to have fun!
This story starts with me ending time on remand
Being released to a strange and new land
The first step was easy, stay sober and clean
Oh how my mum smiled she was so pleased
The second step was to visit lifeline
So I’m sat there thinking is this worth my time? Read more