It’s almost ten years ago that I conducted an evaluation of the BAC O’Connor for Noreen Oliver. My visits to Noreen’s treatment centre were a real eye-opener! Here was a genuine recovery community, a place where recovery oozed out of the walls.
I couldn’t tell who was there to help and who needed help! It was a special experience and I learnt so much from those early visits. Most importantly, I learnt the power of community and belonging, of love and acceptance, of role models and peer support.
Over the years, I’ve watched as Noreen has continued to build BAC O’Connor and facilitate related activities (RIOT, Langan’s Tea Rooms and RIOT Radio). We meet periodically when I am back in UK and it’s always great to catch up.
Here’s a lady who was at death’s door because of her alcohol dependency, but who overcame her problem, decided to help others, and has since been a dynamo in the recovery field.
I recently found the video above, which I knew nothing about. Noreen has always come over very humble to me, and other than explaining that she is in recovery – and was at death’s door at one time – she’s never gone into detail. This video brought tears to my eyes.
Funny enough, and just to show you how the world of connections can work, I also found a video of Noreen carrying the Olympic torch – in my old home town of Melton Mowbray. What a coincidence!