Recovery Voices Launched Today

At long last I am back to posting a blog on this website. My apologies for the silence, but I’ve been very busy working on a new website, which has been officially launched today. The Recovery Voices project has been developed in collaboration with Wulf Livingston of Tregarth in North Wales, and the website built by my good friend Ash Whitney of Wired Up Wales, who is from Cilfrew in South Wales.

The idea for this project developed exactly a year ago when I visited Wulf and he took me to visit two elements of North Wales Recovery Communities (NWRC) in Bangor, their residential community Penrhyn House and their cafe/restaurant Bwd Da Bangor (Good Food Restaurant).

What we wanted to do was capture conversations about what works in supporting recovery from addiction, and in the development of peer-led recovery communities, from a range of individuals with lived experience, as well as friends of recovery. To do this, we have initially been conducting interviews online with five friends who have lived experience of addiction and recovery who have go on to develop exciting new recovery-focused initiatives—James Deakin, Huseyin Djemil, Wendy Dossett, Marcus Fair and David McCartney. In addition, I have interviewed Wulf.

The project started in March and after a good deal of film editing, content generation and discussions between the three team members, the Recovery Stories website was launched officially today, 25 September 2023. Recovery Voices aims to:

  • highlight common messages and learnings that come from these conversations, providing a resource for people working with, and supporting, recovery and recovery communities.
  • celebrate the lives and successes of recovering people and recovery communities, and in doing so enhance the visibility of recovery and highlight what can be achieved.
  • encourage the development of new peer-led recovery communities and their interaction with other initiatives.

We have launched the website with over 150 pages of content and additional content will start being added regularly from next Monday. It’s been quite a haul to date, with over 300 short films being generated from our original 11 interviews.

We hope that you enjoy your time looking around our website and find it of use in one way or another.

PS. I only recently realised two coincidences related to this particular launch date. Firstly, ten years ago today, my close friend Michael Liu and I posted 12 short films onto YouTube for a project which is one of those that I am most proud of being involved in. We spent the day interviewing Professor Marion Kickett, a Noongar Aboriginal leader and  former Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University in Perth, on her country in York.

Secondly, I left Wulf’s house after my visit last year on 25 September. And to add to that, Wales (where I used to live) beat Australia (where I now live) in the Rugby Union World Cup in France. I watched the game at 03.00 Perth time today. Supporting Wales, of course!

Here is the link to our Recovery Voices Welcome blog post.