Community comes together to celebrate our success
Our open day in Barrow brought together dozens of special guests, dignitaries, service users and their families to celebrate our success in the town.
During the event some members opened up about their struggles with addiction – moving a number of guests to tears. Our CEO, David Higham, emphasised that with the right support, anyone can recover from addiction, stop offending and re-build their lives. “Virtually all of our staff and volunteers have been offenders and addicted to substances themselves. We are living proof that change is possible,” he said.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria, Peter McCall, who is a keen supporter of The Well, was one of the guests who spoke at the event. Earlier this year the PCC committed £96,000 to support our work with ex-offenders in Barrow. Mr McCall commented: "It costs something like £48,000 a year to keep someone in prison. If we keep two people out of prison we've more than got our money back.”
Other guests included: The Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mrs Claire Hensman; The High Sheriff of Cumbria, The Rev’d T Richard Lee; Chief Executive of Barrow Borough Council, Phil Huck and the Mayor of Barrow, Councillor Anita Husband.
We give our support to beach clean-up
Members, staff and volunteers teamed up with LOVEmyBEACH to tidy up the shores at Biggar Bank – one of three designating bathing areas on Walney Island.
LOVEmyBEACH is a scheme which aims to improve the water quality at Morecambe Bay and Cumbria’s 16 beaches. It is hoped that regular litter picks will encourage people to stop dropping litter and allowing their dogs to foul the beaches.
Ged Pickersgill, one of our volunteers says: "Community involvement is important to us. We are all people who have struggled with substance abuse and we have often stolen or taken from our communities. During our recovery we want to give as much back as we possibly can to our communities, to help make amends.”
David gets award from the High Sheriff
Our Chief Executive, David Higham, has been recognised for his work in the community. The High Sheriff of Lancashire, Amanda Parker, presented David with an award for helping ex-offenders recover from drug and alcohol addiction.
Amanda Parker said: "As a long-term offender and recovering addict David understands what support people need when they leave prison or want to free themselves from addiction. Setting up The Well has helped dozens of people in Lancaster and Morecambe get support to overcome their problems and give something back to the community. His passion and dedication to helping others is inspiring."
Services extend to Kendal and Fleetwood
The Well is getting bigger! We’re excited to announce that we have new sites in Kendal and Fleetwood. The move will see us providing therapeutic programmes and peer mentoring to hundreds more people.
The Well’s Business and Commercial Lead, Geri Byrne-Thompson, says: ‘This means we’ll be offering services to more communities where drug and alcohol addiction is higher than the national average. It’s an exciting time for us as we see our plans for growth begin to take shape. ‘
Staff and volunteers pick up awards
We’ve been celebrating at The Well! A number of staff and volunteers have picked up some prestigious awards over the last few months in recognition of their hard work.
Manager, Kerrie Hudson, received a national award from the Marsh Christian Trust for ‘Exeptional Individual in the Field of Recovery’. Jane Wilkes was awarded ‘Volunteer of the Year’ and Eddie McVey got the ‘Unsung Hero’ award in the RIO volunteer thanksgiving awards. Calum Marsden, Jack Parker and Polly Parker were also shortlisted for other accolades. Jack and Polly also received a letter of commendation from the Prime Minister. And our CEO, Dave Higham, was chosen as the ‘Unsung Hero’ at the No Offence awards, which are championed by Richard Branson.
David Higham commented: "It’s so pleasing to see members of the team recognised through awards like these. Each person makes their own special contribution. Together, we’re bringing positive and long-lasting change to people who have lived with long-term addiction."