Mayor of Pendle Coun. Nadeem Ahmed showed he was a “recovery champion” when he turned up to cheer on a team of footballers from East Lancashire at a football tournament organised by Lancashire Drug and Alcohol Action Team.
The tournament, at Play Football in Preston, brought together service users from Inspire services in Accrington, Burney, Pendle, Rawtenstall and Clitheroe, staff from LDAAT and East Lancashire community groups, to take on seven other teams from across the county.
Coun. Ahmed said: “It was great to see so many people coming together to celebrate recovery from substance misuse across Lancashire. There was some strong talent in some of the teams. The obvious passion for the game showed how important activities like sport can be in helping to build recovery by keeping people on the right track.”
The event was organised by LDAAT to launch two new projects for people in recovery from substance misuse, which have been set up to develop the links they need to re-build their lives through volunteering, education and employment.
The projects, DRIVE (delivering recovery in volunteering environments) and BRiC (building recovery in communities), integrate people who are in treatment at one of LDAAT’s services in Lancashire or engaging with Lancashire recovery groups such as Lancashire User Forum, back into their communities.
LDAAT aims to create opportunities for people in recovery, through developing the DRIVE and BRiC posts, encouraging people to think beyond the issues of treatment, abstinence or maintenance, for substance misuse, by planning an active future and participation in their community.
LDAAT has funded four DRIVE workers who will be employed through the Council for Voluntary Services in Lancashire. In addition, one BRiC worker will deliver volunteering and recovery projects in each of LDAAT’s local treatment services - Inspire in East Lancashire, Discover in Central Lancashire and J2R in North Lancashire.
Kerry Farrar, the new BRiC worker for East Lancashire, added: “I am looking forward to working with a partnership that is clearly committed to driving forward the national recovery agenda, by providing an integrated, recovery-orientated treatment system and creating real opportunities for sustainable recovery in the community.”
Strategic director of LDAAT Tom Woodcock said: “LDAAT is leading the way for recovery-based, modern, integrated drug and alcohol services. We wanted to go one step further with these two innovative projects by placing the emphasis firmly on getting services users re-integrated into their communities in a useful way. Research suggests recovery from substance misuse is more likely to be successful and sustainable if it is combined with activities such as volunteering, education, sport, employment and coupled with better relationships and support networks.”
The new DRIVE and BRiC projects will identify and make use of people’s natural skills and talents as Greg Mitten, Chief Officer of WLCVS, explains: “Many people start to recognise their skills and abilities as they move through recovery and treatment and are keen to make use of these abilities in their new lives. CVS uses something we call Asset Based Community Development, which links people to organisations and groups that can make use of their individual talents through volunteering and active citizenship.”