A Wet Day at the Abbey

Well it would seem that not even the appalling weather could stop us hardy recovery types from going out and doing what it is that we do best; have a load of fun.

This became apparent on a cold, wet and windy Friday in early September when 37 intrepid Basement types gathered together for an epic trip to Bolton Abbey where fun and frolics were surely to be found and where a group of determined souls were to stamp their mark on a famous British monument.

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Martin’s Happy Days 2013

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 …

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Dancing was more like therapy

an escape from reality because reality wasn’t something I wanted to face

dancing-therapy-1To be honest when I was asked by Heath to write an article about our experiences with teaching Jive classes at the Basement Project I felt a little unsure as to what to say and how to put it across. You see, you put me in front of a group of people and ask me to teach them to Jive and I’m comfortable. I served 22 years in the Army, 17 years of which I served as a Unit fitness instructor and at times I have had to take a large number of soldiers and put them through their paces in physical training sessions and was comfortable doing so but for me to put pen to paper like this and try to express myself is very much out of my comfort zone. When I thought about it, that’s what this learning to dance, learning to Jive for a lot of people here at the Basement Project is all about – being out of your comfort zone and trying something new.

I suppose the best thing to do would be to give some kind of introduction to explain how Lynn, my dance partner, and I got into the 1940’s and 50’s dancing and how we came to teach dance here at the Basement Project.

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Race for Life

Thankfully after a fortnight of high temperatures, we had a great fresh climate for those who had gathered to run their Race for Life on Savile Park in Halifax. Race for Life is the largest women-only fundraising event in the UK. Money raised from this event has a huge impact on the work of Cancer Research UK. Race for Life began in 1994 in Battersea Park with 680 participants. They have made some fantastic progress since then. This is thanks to the many who keep coming back, year-on-year, to the events and raising money to fund their life-saving work. Today there are over 230 5k or 10k events across the UK as well as some brand new events, Race for Life Twilight and Race for Life Pretty Muddy, which are raising money to beat all 200 types of cancer sooner. Since Race for Life started, an incredible six million participants have raised over £493million. The work by Cancer Research UK has contributed to an overall drop of around 16 per cent in the death rate from all cancers since Race for Life began.

Here are some of the thoughts of those taking part:

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Get On Yer’ Bike

onyerbike1Not long ago I heard about a cycle cavalcade that was coming to Calderdale so I looked into it. And I found out that not only was it coming to Calderdale it was organised by Calderdale people for Calderdale people – sounds similar to what we recovery folk do. Who were they?, I hear you ask, well it was a group of local businessmen led by a man called Steve Duncan who raises money for an organisation called Community Foundation for Calderdale (CFFC). The ‘Cycle for Work’ challenge as it was called, was the brainchild of Steve, who is the CEO of CFFC. The idea was to cycle from Land’s End (Cornwall to you and me) to John O’Groats (Scotland to you and me) in a bid to raise money to fund 25 young apprentices in Calderdale. Steve had made the comment “This year we want to make a real difference to the lives of young people in Calderdale, and if that means cycling 900 miles that is what we will do, I have two teenage sons myself and I know how difficult the employment market can be for young people at the moment”.

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Robin Hood’s Baywatch

baywatch-blog-imageI just wanted to write a little piece about our lovely conn3ct camping trip recently. About 18 or 19 people got involved and came along to the beautiful east coast resort of Robin Hoods Bay. Well we got there on the Friday afternoon and proceeded to put the tents up, about 6 or 7 in all, then after that we decided to have a look on the beach in the bay; we were lucky that a bus stop right outside the camp took us right into the bay.

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Taken for a ride… in a good way.

Last year a friend of mine organised a really great trip to Lightwater Valley so this year I thought I would do the same and ask a few recovery friends if they fancied a fun day out. Organising the trip couldn’t have been easier. We decided on small weekly payments so that everyone had an opportunity to go. Every week payments were made, hiring a coach was simple (and we were even given a discount because of what TBRP does) and tickets to the park were cheaper too because of a group booking.

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Jiving at The Basement

When it was first suggested to me that we were going to run an eight week jive class at The Basement, it would be fair to say there was a certain amount of trepidation, to say the least. Admittedly, my first thought was to say that I was busy on a Thursday and, therefore, couldn’t take part. My second thought was put your ego to one side and get out of your comfort zone and give it a go. If I’m going to be really honest part of me was thinking that it wouldn’t last because there wouldn’t be enough people to make it worthwhile. The fact that we now are going into the last week and there are more people taking part than originally joined up for the first lesson shows just how much I know.

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Feeling at home in Doncaster

The football team went to the Keepmoat football stadium in Doncaster for a 7-a-side tournament. We played six group matches in which we won five and lost one. We got to the final and won on penalties. The star of the day had to be our own would-be Joe Hart, Stan! He’s a loyal hard working goal keeper who saved our bacon on numerous occasions.

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Calderdale in Recovery ‘United’

calderdaleinrecoveryfootball7I was sent a request to enter a team(s) into the Peter Hearn 5-a-side memorial competition to be held in Bradford on the Friday the 30th November. I asked Simon Hayes, our Recovery football coach if we could get some guys together who are in recovery from all services in Calderdale to sign up and play football for a the charity match in Bradford.

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Happy Days

EPSON011edited-300x213Martin walked into our project in August 2010; he was looking for help. Martin was a guy that everyone easily warmed to; he was unassuming yet friendly, and on the outside, Martin appeared happy and relatively well. But the internal suffering was hidden, and this is one of the most difficult challenges of this illness.

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12 Steps to Peace

In the hustle and bustle of life taking time to work on oneself is a real luxury, so when the opportunity to do just that arose I grabbed the opportunity. So myself and three other recovering addicts journeyed to South Wales to attend a 12 step retreat, a long weekend to be spent looking at the 12 step recovery programme and how this method can be applied to daily life.

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