Reflecting on vital work of project offering hope and recovery from addiction

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September was National Recovery Month and events took place across the country to recognise achievements and celebrate a new found sense of happiness for vast numbers of recovering alcoholics and addicts.

September was National Recovery Month and events took place across the country to recognise achievements and celebrate a new found sense of happiness for vast numbers of recovering alcoholics and addicts.

These are people who continuously put hard work in to freeing themselves from being actively addicted to drugs and alcohol. For many this is a time for them, along with loved ones, to reflect positively on their new way of life and on how far they have come.

Problematic use of drugs and alcohol impacts the whole of society. Its effects on individual families and communities can be absolutely devastating and the harm caused both physically and mentally to an individual can be immense.

Many people suffering from the horrific turmoil caused by addiction and alcoholism have no idea where to turn. They struggle to approach professionals due to a fear of being judged or being misunderstood.

In Calderdale attempts to tackle these issues head on have been taking place for the past decade. The Basement Recovery Project started in 2006 as a breakfast club and peer support group in the basement of the Halifax YMCA.

Ever since, it has been providing support for suffering addicts. The recovery project feels that this support is best delivered by people who really understand what they were going through - people who have experienced addiction first hand. Recovering addicts now provide fantastic examples of how life can be turned around, through the Basement Recovery Project, and help others work towards gaining the same freedom that they themselves have achieved.

What started from somewhat humble beginnings in a town centre basement has grown in to a non-profit company with its own premises. The project now provides hope for addicts and alcoholics throughout the area.

It provides a structured day programme, based on the most up-to-date research within the field. It also offers the opportunity for people to detox from alcohol or substances with 24-hour support.

In February of last year it joined forces in a partnership with local service providers DISC and St Martin’s. This has increased the Basement Project’s ability to identify and provide help for those who desperately need it.

The project also recognises the importance of meaningful activity, felt to be an essential element when a person is abstaining from drugs and alcohol.

With this in mind the project goes to great lengths to help its clients connect, be active, keep learning, take notice and to eventually give something back to society. Activities include an art group, drama and creative writing groups, bee keeping as well as the Happy Voices choir, which meets twice a week at The Basement Project. The group has performed at a number of events, including at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales, last year in front of 2,000 people.

More physical activities include running groups, yoga, pilates, football and cricket. Many of these are supported by the provision of facilities from Calderdale Council.

The Basement Recovery Project tries to organise activities which provide individuals with opportunities to progress and give them skills and tools they can use in any situation.

Most of the activities are open to anyone - you don’t have to be in ‘recovery’.

It urges anyone who has seen anything that interests them to get in contact. More importantly, the project urges anyone who is suffering from addiction to alcohol or drugs to consider reaching out and accessing the service.

For more information, call 01422 383063 or visit www.thebasementproject.org.uk.