DDN November 2022 DDN Nov_2022 | Page 24


STRENGTH in numbers

Women recover differently and need space to heal , says Annalice Argyle
Rebecca Marwood Photography


’ m a woman in long-term recovery ( 13 years ) from alcohol , substance misuse and surrounding issues . I am also a mother , daughter , partner and sister – a changemaker , a person with purpose and a social entrepreneur . I ’ m lucky and privileged enough to be a position to be able to shout about recovery and happy to be a voice for those who don ’ t have one .
Seven years ago I set up my own grassroots independent advocacy charity , The Recovery Advocates and Consultants UK ( TRAC UK ) to provide a voice , education , peer advocacy and empowerment . During COVID the service naturally morphed into a safe and supportive place for women to recover for as
long as they want to engage . We find that women love the womenonly space to establish healthy relationships with themselves and other females who want to reclaim their lives , which can prove to be a very powerful and empowering healing experience .
We are based in Teesside but through our online women-only recovery and wellbeing hybrid hub we work with women nationally and internationally , offering female-orientated paths . We believe that each person will have a different path to recovery and our holistic approach allows us to offer clients choice in their own journeys .
We believe that women recover differently to men . We are not ‘ people in recovery ’, we are women in recovery who need to be free from shame , stigma and misunderstandings . We need to manage and heal our trauma and have the space to talk about women-specific coexisting issues . We need to be heard and feel safe .
Many women have completed our programmes , confidencebuilding projects and recovery in the community , and are able to confront the barriers they face . We believe that recovery is much more sustainable if the foundations are
We sustain our charity through an event we set up called WoW – Women Only Wellness – which showcases the many ways to wellness through workshops and healthy food .
firmly rooted in their local area with their children and alongside a community of supportive women .
We sustain our charity through an event we set up called WoW – Women Only Wellness – which showcases the many ways to wellness through workshops and healthy food . It ’ s accessible to all women from the age of 16 as we are passionate about breaking the generational cycle .
We began to be recognised for our work in 2019 when we started winning awards , and TRAC UK has since been a finalist in the prestigious Tees Business Awards , where I won in the ‘ inspiring others ’ category . Recently we were nominated for a Northern Power Women Award for the second year running and I was shortlisted for a national She Inspires award for the work I do to help women recover .
I was absolutely delighted to be a finalist as even though the nomination is for an individual it raises TRAC UK ’ s profile , spreading
awareness and giving hope to others as well as showcasing the work that we do . Entries came from countries including Denmark , India , South Africa , the US , the UAE , Australia , Malaysia , Sri Lanka , Pakistan , Egypt and Bangladesh , as well as from across the UK . The awards offered ‘ a special way of recognising truly amazing women from around the world ,’ said founder Gulnaz Brennan . With over 2000 nominations in 17 categories , she said it was ‘ incredibly challenging ’ to draw up the shortlist .
It feels great to be recognised for a job well done . It ’ s not that we need to be validated but we do believe our work is special and makes huge differences to one of the worst areas for alcohol and drug problems , and where women suffer particular stigma . It ’ s been an outstanding couple of years for TRAC UK and we continue to go from strength to strength , building our vision of a women ’ s recovery movement reaching women around the globe and showcasing the many ways to recovery and wellbeing .
It ’ s the people involved in TRAC UK that deserve the praise – the staff and volunteers today and over the years , and the women and men who are part of our movement wherever they are on their journey and who help to shape the service . The work that goes into ensuring that the service develops and doesn ’ t stagnate is phenomenal , and the trustees are behind the scenes allowing us to grow and move forward together .
I ’ ve come a long way and have worked very hard to reclaim my life . I ’ m proud of that and hope I inspire others to do the same and find a way out their situation .
Annalice Argyle is founder of Lobster Recovery CIC and TRAC UK , www . tracuk . uk
The She Inspires awards are being held on 24 November at Bolton Whites Hotel live and online . More information at sheinspires . org . uk