DDN_April_2024 DDN April 2024 | Page 20




The concept of inclusive recovery cities is providing a network of inspiration , say David Best , Steven Brown , Sue Northcott , Eleanor Youdell , Dot Smith , Mark Green , Tracey Ford , Mike Crowther and Jamie Sadler spite of continued lack of funding and support from central government , the recovery movement has continued to proliferate and blossom across the UK . This has become most evident in the transition from the hidden and the anonymous to the visibility and vibrancy of events such as the annual UK Recovery Walks and the fabulous Recovery Games hosted in sunny Donny each autumn . But for communities up and down the UK , it has been most evident in the emergence of lived experience recovery organisations ( LEROs ) and the emergence of the College of Lived Experience Recovery Organisations ( CLERO ) as a voice for evidence , innovation and standards among recovery organisations . So what are inclusive recovery cities and why do we need them ? It ’ s been clear that treatment may be necessary for many people to resolve addiction issues , but isn ’ t sufficient in itself to address the challenges of mental health , housing , education , employment and relationships . So in 2008 , William White introduced the idea of recovery oriented systems of care ( ROSC ) to create a model of person-centred , family inclusive , holistic and strengths-based coordination between multiple agencies including housing and criminal justice to address the comprehensive integrative needs of people with multiple needs .
However , and with due respect to the great William White , this approach is still fundamentally deficits-based and too professionally focused . At its core , the inclusive recovery cities model is ROSC ++, with the following key additions :
• An inclusive recovery city is a strategic partnership between a number of grassroots recovery organisations , strategic leadership
from the area , and some involvement from specialist treatment providers
• The aim is to celebrate recovery through at least four public-facing recovery events each year that are inclusive
• These events aim to challenge stigma and build access to community resources for the recovery community
• But there is a further aim of providing increased access to community resources and to act as a bridge to civics and citizenship for recovery and other marginalised groups
• To create and build social enterprises and other pathways to education and employment
• To be part of a national and international coalition that shares innovation and evidence and celebrates recovery achievements
So where are we up to with this approach ? From our original coalition of three inclusive recovery cities – Ghent , Gothenburg and Doncaster – we now have a strong UK alliance of ten cities and have hosted meetings in Middlesbrough , Leeds , Blackpool and Nottingham , each of which has – or is nominating – a lead . Our international coalition also involves 14 cities in the Balkans region , and the first US inclusive recovery city will launch in Beckley in West Virginia this spring . The ten UK inclusive recovery cities are Middlesbrough , Sheffield , Leeds , York , Nottingham , Newcastle , Mansfield , Blackpool , Birmingham and Portsmouth .
Why has there been such significant interest ? In the UK , at any rate , this has been about taking peer-based community recovery to the next stage through not only increased visibility but a celebration of what the recovery community contributes to the