This week St Mungo’s Haringey Recovery Service (HRS) held a two mile ‘Recovery Pride Walk’ in celebration of the journeys of the service’s users. The theme of the walk was “Recovery is a Journey Not a Destination.” For clients who took part, each step they took on the walk marked their journey to recovery from drugs and alcohol problems.
The two mile walked started in Northumberland Park, Haringey, went on to Bruce Grove and ended at the HRS base in Seven Sisters Road, London.
A day of celebrating recovery
It was a symbolic day for those who took part in the walk. It created a sense of achievement because those taking part were walking with other clients and staff who have been on similar journeys. For some it was also a way of making people in the local community aware of where to go if they have problems.
It was very organised – high visibility vests, bottles of water, first aid kits and health and safety awareness instructions. People also taking part in the walk said that they felt as if they were on some important mission – there was an air of camaraderie and purpose.
Along the route people asked the stewards at the back what the walk was for. They talked about the buildings that had been renovated after the Tottenham riots. Several people echoed that it was really important for them to be part of this event, that it represented the progress that people make in their recovery.
“A day made successful by the service users”
Here’s what a few walkers and service users said about recovery and the service.
“Recovery is about willingness, awareness, you are made to feel respected – guided – supported and appreciated” – RJ
“Services are a stepping stone to the final destination – it makes you find your creative side that you have never known before” – DA
“I’m here, it keeps me alive, build up my confidence – I use to be a recluse I’m more sociable, I’m alive. Before I was existing and now I’m living!” – DL
At the end of the walk there was good food, speeches and chilled out events such as mindfulness, the creation of a recovery tree, the making of friendship bracelets – to give or to own. People also had a chance to take part in a session called ‘Reflections on Recovery’.
Jean Man of Haringey Recovery Service said: “There was a real feel good vibe going on, a day made successful by the service users, workers and volunteers. Recovery Pride has moved into the community. It’s now out there in Haringey and people can choose to join in to raise awareness of substance misuse issues, be a real part of that support, celebrate the successes and feel really proud of this.”
Preparing people for independent living again
The Haringey Recovery Service is a partnership service involving St Mungo’s Haringey Advisory Group on Alcohol (HAGA), Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust and Blenheim CPD.
Set up in 2014, it provides support to people in Haringey on treatment for drug and alcohol problems. This includes counselling, rehabilitation programmes, peer support, and a fantastic Recovery Academy offering a range of courses to educate, improve wellbeing and prepare people for living independently once again.
Charles O’Sullivan, St Mungo’s Regional Head, said: “The Recovery walk was part of Recovery Pride Week but we should look to be proud of recovery, not just this week but every week of our lives. The people taking part have good reason to be very proud of their achievements.”