Celebrating recovery together – UK Recovery Walk 2018
We were delighted to see that, once again, over a thousand people from all over the country attended the 10th annual UK Recovery Walk, which took place in Shrewsbury last weekend.
Change Grow Live services were out in force to celebrate all things recovery. The event is a great opportunity for service users and staff to come together to mark individual journeys and achievements, while breaking down associated stigmas around alcohol and substance misuse. Change Grow Live services in attendance included Nottinghamshire, Birmingham, Coventry, Walsall and Dudley, amongst others.
Every year, the event is organised by Faces And Voices Of Recovery UK (FAVOR) as part of September’s National Recovery Month. This year’s route was 1.6 miles long and took attendees around some of Shrewsbury’s cultural landmarks, including Shrewsbury Castle and The Old Market Hall. The walk began and ended at Quarry Park where there was food stalls and a fantastic variety of live music and entertainment, as well as mutual aid meeting groups for those wanting to attend.
Simon Morgan, our Asset Based Community Development Lead in Coventry said:
“The 2018 UK Recovery Walk was a great day out for 30 recoverists on the Change Grow Live West Midlands bus. 17 service users from Coventry joined 13 service users from Birmingham to link up with others from around the UK in the beautiful town of Shrewsbury.
“The weather held off and the walk stayed dry (for the most part!), which was a relief. The walk itself was my personal favourite since Manchester in 2014, the atmosphere was buzzing and the townsfolk greeted us with enthusiasm and respect, including a women’s choir who popped up to sing for us near the walk’s end. I enjoyed checking out the stands and catching up with friends and fellow recoverists from the national scene, and particularly rated Paul Jacks ACT session in the mutual aid tents.”
A Change Grow Live Coventry volunteer added:
“Wet weather could not dampen our spirits as I, my friends, and fellow peers walked through the lovely town of Shrewsbury to show a welcoming local community and the wider world that recovery from substance use is not only possible, but alive and thriving. The day was full of music, laughter, dancing and fun, plus lots of information on the varied ways that recovery can be achieved”.
And a service user from the Midlands said:
“I had a brilliant day drinking tea and coffee with my friends, we really enjoyed ourselves. It was brilliant from when we set off until when we got home. An inspirational day - I can’t wait for next year.”
Well done to everyone who took part in this year’s walk. We look forward to seeing you again next year in Middlesbrough!