Hundreds of staff and service users from CGL took part in the eighth annual UK Recovery Walk in Halton on Saturday, to raise awareness of substance misuse support and celebrate recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.
Organised by Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) UK, the walk takes place every September during National Recovery Month. Over 5,000 people, including those in recovery and their family and friends, walked through the streets of Halton in the biggest gathering of recovering people in Europe.
Staff from the Halton Integrated Recovery Service helped to organise the day and create the fantastic event, as well as running a stall and volunteering on the day.
Jeanette Collins, Head of Services at CGL said:
“Substance use in the North West often goes unseen by many, so we hope that this historic event, held in a town for the first time will show the impact that recovery has on communities. The walk also shows how organisations such as CGL can support individuals and families in getting their lives back on track. CGL service users, carers and staff have all been amazing in supporting and fundraising for this event to make it a fantastic and truly memorable day, so well done to everyone involved.”
Shirley Riley, Director at CGL said:
“We’re proud to have supported FAVOR UK’s recovery walks across England since they started in 2009.
The staff and service users who put forward the application to have the recovery walk in Halton really came together with FAVOR UK to create a magical and fantastic event that over 5,000 people in recovery, their friends and family attended. We’re really proud to have been involved locally. CGL service users from across the country attended the event, from as far as Southend, Somerset, London, Sussex, Gateshead, Birmingham, Scunthorpe to more local Lancashire, Wirral and of course Halton.
It was particularly special to have the opportunity to reconnect with so many of the people who I’ve met over the years as a result of them using CGL’s treatment and recovery services – to see them again, hear their life journeys and join them in celebrating their recovery with family and friends. It’s humbling to see the power that recovery movement can bring.”
Halton Borough Council's Executive Board Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Marie Wright, said:
“It was a great honour for Halton to be selected as the host for the Recovery Walk. Halton is committed to supporting local people to overcome drug and alcohol problems, and, through our local partner, change grow, live (CGL) we have some fantastic and effective services in place.
Transforming the lives of people affected by substance misuse is a priority for the Council and its partners and it is inspiring that we were able to welcome so many people from all over the country who are in active recovery to Widnes. We were so excited to host this free celebration event and were really pleased that so many local people were able to join us.”
Over the weekend a number of events took place alongside the walk, including a sleepover, football tournament, Church Celebration at St Pauls and a family festival. The FAVOR UK Annual Conference was also held on Friday 9th before the walk. Nicola Wendel, National Child Sexual Exploitation Lead at CGL, did an interactive talk at the conference about what child sexual exploitation is and how you can identify it when working with parents in services.