‘We’ve come so far’

Clients and staff outside Haringey Recovery Service

St Mungo’s Haringey Recovery Service (HRS) recently held a five mile ‘Recovery Pride Walk’ with local partners to celebrate the recovery journeys of its service users from substance use.

This year the walk was extended from two to five miles to include other services along the way such as mental health, and family and carers of drugs and alcohol users. For those taking part, it was a way of making people in the local community aware of where to go in order to receive support to address their substance misuse or if a family, friend or carer needed support.

For many it was a symbolic day which created a sense of achievement because those taking part were walking with other clients and staff who have been on a similar journey.

‘An air of camaraderie and purpose’

About 50 people completed the Walk, well prepared, with high visibility vests, bottles of water, first aid kits and health and safety awareness instructions and snacks to help energise along the way. People taking part said that they felt as if they were on some important mission – there was an air of camaraderie and purpose.

For Alice, a Haringey Recovery Service User and Recovery Peer, the walk marked just how far she had come. She said: “I was a steward. I completed the route before the Walk to make sure we knew where we would be going. I put up all the notices to get people involved. The Recovery Pride Walk for me shows how much I have achieved. I’ve been sober for six months – for me, the first time in my whole life. So, it’s something big I have achieved. Hopefully I’ll be involved next year and I’ll be working in the services, supporting my peers.”

‘I’ve come so far on my journey’

Rohan, an ex-service user who now supports his peers at HRS, also really enjoyed the Walk. He said: I’ve been here for three years and moved on. I’m now at the Recovery College doing music technology. I hope the t-shirts we wore put the message across that this is a wonderful service. I am a recovering alcoholic. The staff here really helped me. My mother suffers from dementia and I was going through a tough time looking after her. I found real great support from the staff here. It’s great to be able to go on the Walk. I have come so far on my journey. Next year, I’ll be back again doing this and supporting people like me.”

Jean Man, Service User Involvement Manager of Haringey Recovery Service said: “After its success last year, people fed back that they wanted the Walk to take place again. The work that people put into this day was unbelievable, the talent, motivation, the willingness to make the event happen and the participation – it made recovery champions of us all. People came back exhausted but satisfied – food and rest were a priority. It also coincidentally but fortunately timed with a wider St Mungo’s Diversity Day, with information for that designed by the service users and staff. And very special thanks from me to our recovery peers – it’s such an honour to work with them.”

‘It was inspiring to take part in the walk’

Haringey Recovery Service is a partnership service involving St Mungo’s, Haringey Advisory Group on Alcohol (HAGA), Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust, and Blenheim CPD.
Set up in 2014, it provides support to people in Haringey on treatment for drug and alcohol problems. This includes counselling, rehabilitation programmes, peer support, and a fantastic Recovery College offering a range of courses to educate, improve wellbeing and prepare people for living independently once again.

David Devoy, St Mungo’s Regional Director said: “It was inspiring to participate in the walk with clients from across Haringey, our staff and supporters. The public were gracious as we went along, and it’s good to know that the community in Haringey think positively about people in recovery and the services that support them.”