Addiction recovery group launches after year-long COVID delay

A new group aiming to support people affected by addiction has finally officially launched – a year late due to COVID-19.

But the North Lanarkshire Recovery Community team has used the past 12 months to create a tight-knit environment for people by providing online support, recovery groups and activities on Zoom.

The organisation, which is an “inclusive and non-judgemental community committed to empowering people in recovery”, has unveiled recovery cafes, one held in its Airdrie base in Hallcraig Street, as part of its launch.

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Becky Wood, recovery development team leader, told Lanarkshire Live: “Even though we’ve had to wait a year due to COVID, we are thrilled to officially launch our group.

“The delay allowed us to build up a community using digital platforms, and hold training for our volunteers.

“We support people in recovery, including those in active addiction, by offering them a safe place to come and share with others.

“All of the staff are in recovery from addiction, and use this to empower people and show that recovery and rehabilitation is possible.

“These people deserve a bit of respect and a nice play to come to. Our members self-police to make sure our group is a safe environment.”

Describing the types of services on offer from the organisation, Becky added: “We started up three recovery cafes last month, and plan to hopefully add another two.

“As well as providing support, they act as a doorstep to people to come along and see what we do. Tea, coffee and food is served and our staff are on hand to converse with.

“We also run a fishing group, Recovery Ramblers with trained walk leaders through the Paths For All scheme, and other outdoor activities.

“We have peer support too and are involved in addiction recovery nationally. People in our community are well versed on the political stance on recovery.

Author Graeme Armstrong gave a talk at the launch event

“This is a real grassroots organisation and we are an inclusive and non-judgemental community committed to empowering people in recovery.

“Anyone with addictive behaviour is welcome to our group; we look at people’s physical and mental wellbeing and also focus on socialisation, in terms of getting people back into the community.

“All of this is done through having fun, being there for people and building friendships.”

The group’s official launch in Airdrie was attended by North Lanarkshire Provost Jean Jones and Airdrie North councillor Sophia Coyle, while local author Graeme Armstrong came along to do a talk.

Becky said: “The launch was fantastic and, despite Covid restrictions, we were able to welcome a lot of people at different times throughout the day.

Provost Jean Jones and Councillor Sophia Coyle (centre, left and right) were among the invited guests

“There was a great response from people living and working locally.

“Graeme has experience of addiction and youngsters in gang culture and is a great ambassador for addiction recovery.

“Youngsters in the area who are looking to do something different can take inspiration from Graeme and his successful writing career.

“We’d like to thank everyone who came along to the launch and helped to make it such a special occasion.”

Visit North Lanarkshire Recovery Community’s Facebook and Twitter pages to find out more about the group and what it has to offer.

The recovery cafes take place in Airdrie on Tuesdays and Cumbernauld on Wednesdays, both from 1pm to 4.30pm, and Motherwell every Friday, from 12.30pm to 4pm.

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Daily Record – Motherwell