Recovery Voices: James Deakin, Founder of North Wales Recovery Communities (NWRC), with Wulf Livingston

In the third of our Recovery Voices series, Wulf Livingston interviews James Deakin, Founder of North Wales Recovery Communities (NWRC).

James’s interview comprises 13 short films, totalling just under 80 minutes. He describes his drug-dealing days in Manchester and cocaine addiction. He begins his recovery journey after moving to Bangor, and spends ten years working as a chef before becoming a Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) worker. He becomes disillusioned by the treatment system, but inspired by recovery advocate Mark Gilman. He receives funding from outside the system to set up the peer-led NWRC, which has a residential facility (Penrhyn House), Growing for Change food project, and a community cafe, Bwyd Da Bangor. James describes NWRC activities. 

In his first film below, James initially describes growing up in a single-parent family, surrounded by heavy drinking, conflict and violence. He feels he is constantly on edge. He experiments with cannabis and party drugs. The work options for someone his age are narrow, and there is a marked contrast between low-wage workers and drug dealers with their posh cars and chunky mobile phones. James finds his ‘occupation’ and discovers he has a good business acumen….

Sadly, James’s internet connection was slow, so the quality of image and syncing between image and sound is not always good. However, please do not allow this problem to distract you. James’s overall interview is not only very informative but also enthralling, so it was important for us to post the films anyway.

Recovery Voices is a project I developed with Wulf Livingston of North Wales, which involves filming interviews of recovering people and their allies. Three primary aims of Recovery Voices are to: (1) celebrate the lives and achievements of people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction; (2) create a powerful voice of recovering people and their allies; and (3) facilitate the development of peer-led recovery communities.