Drink and Drugs News DDN October 2018 | Page 25

RecoveRy More recovery stories at www.drinkanddrugsnews.com RecoveRy in action A beautiful bank holiday campout confirmed that recovery is bursting with life in Lancashire, says James Williamson O n a beautiful August bank holiday weekend, more than 150 people from Lancashire’s flourishing recovery movement celebrated their seventh annual campout at LUFStock18. Salus Withnell Hall, one of the north west’s leading drug and alcohol detox and rehab centres, provided the perfect venue. Set in 14 acres of beautiful grounds and woodlands, the centre is run in partnership with CAIS, the leading voluntary sector provider of personal support services in Wales. Campers enjoyed plenty of fun activities in the grounds, including football coaching, games, songs and storytelling around the campfire. A particular highlight was a special performance from the Fallen Angels Dance Theatre. Qualified football coach, barbecue chef and CAIS director of residential www.drinkanddrugsnews.com services Leon Marsh said the team at Salus were thrilled to host the event alongside partners from the Lancashire User Forum and Red Rose Recovery: ‘We were really pleased to play a small part in such a big statement of the power of recovery, right here in our own grounds,’ he said. ‘Everyone involved in the organisation of this fantastic event, and everyone who attended, shared the common goal of celebrating and enjoying recovery – and that’s what made the weekend so special. ‘It’s often the simple things which make the biggest difference,’ he added. ‘It was great to hear the buzz and excitement of children toasting marshmallows around the campfire. And it’s been wonderful to have such great feedback from many of those who attended.’ Campers were also offered free blood-borne virus testing, naloxone training, and naloxone kits to take away, thanks to the support of local teams from CGL Inspire. The annual campout is a grassroots event, and offers an inclusive space for people in the recovery community, their families, and others interested in or affected by addiction to connect. Peter Yarwood from Red Rose Recovery said the weekend’s events were a prime example of effective co- production. ‘It was really refreshing to work with an organisation which looks at what it can give rather than what it can take from the service user community,’ he said. ‘Both in the lead- up to the weekend, and during, all our peers found that the team from Salus wanted to bring somethin g to the party. That set the scene for us to create an event where everyone had a great time.’ The event wasn’t about titles or authority, he added. ‘Everyone was on the same level, everyone had the opportunity to be part of the activities, and everyone had something to contribute. That means a lot in a community which is often stigmatised and marginalised. This was a fine example of co-production in action – it really was a beautiful thing.’ Leon said the team at Salus Withnell Hall would continue to forge mutually beneficial relationships with the recovery community. ‘It really was a privilege to be part of the weekend,’ he said. ‘This was true co-production – combining people with experience of substance misuse, their families and loved ones, recovery services, harm reduction, public health, and the third sector in visible and infectious recovery. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with the Lancashire User Forum, Red Rose Recovery and other partners in the weeks, months and years ahead.’ James Williamson works at CAIS October 2018 | drinkanddrugsnews | 25