My Second Interview With James Deakin of North Wales Recovery Communities

My second interview with James Deakin, Founder of North Wales Recovery Communities (NWRC), took place on 16 June 2023. It involved Perth, Western Australia, linking up with Bangor, North Wales, on Zoom, with a seven-hour time difference. I edited 11 films from the interview, totalling just under 58 minutes.

We covered a range of topics relating to the functioning of NWRC. These topics included NWRC trying to create as many recovery pathways as possible, involving various mutual aid groups holding meetings at NWRC’s Penrhyn House; the power of ‘the group’ in helping individuals; the importance of being committed to, and engaged with, the various activities offered by NWRC; the importance of service to the community and further afield (with examples, including a project in Kenya); education; and dealing with trauma and its impact.

I’m fascinated and excited by what is going on at NWRC. I hope our films involving NWRC—33 Voices Films totalling over three hours of film—illustrate what can be achieved with a peer-led recovery service, and provide insights into the nature of recovery.

Here is the first of the 11 films from this second interview with James, in which he not only emphasises the importance of providing community members with access to a wide variety of mutual aid groups, but also describes a common misconception about the nature of addiction. It is not  a choice. ‘For the vast majority of us it is self-management of an underlying condition, it’s self-medication, or it’s just using any drink or drug to move away from a set of feeling[s] for a period of time.’

You can find links of the other ten films from this interview here.