Bristol Recovery Forum launched by AWP
A new Recovery Forum is being created to give service users, professional’s, families and the wider community a voice in the delivery of drug and alcohol services in Bristol. The Bristol recovery forum ( a working title) is being driven by AWP and their partner agencies and hopes to engage those with lived experience of addiction. The aim of the forum is to establish a central recovery hub/community that will be a warm and welcoming social space that makes recovery visible. The central theme is that recovery is possible and “ you alone can do it but you can’t do it alone”
The first meeting took place in February and a second meeting is being held at Colston Fort, Bristol on Friday March 13th at 14:00. The meeting is open to anyone looking to help create a functional addiction centred recovery process.
Although the objectives of the Bristol Recovery Forum are still being defined, there seems a common understanding that addiction is almost always accompanied by additional complex needs, most obviously mental health issues and homelessness. Discussion are taking place around how to link people with a need or desire to access services with the services available to them, as well as self-help groups, occupational training and skill development opportunities and opportunities to interact with peer mentors and the wider recovery community in Bristol.
IF Group Bristol is working to provide manpower for the start of the Bristol Recovery Forum, using our understanding of multiple needs service users and helping to create connections where necessary to give the new venture as much support as we can. We are also keen to encourage anyone that would like to get involved working with a new recovery service in Bristol and has experience or a view on what is needed to fill any gaps in substance misuse and addiction recovery services to attend the next meeting.
Some of the reasons given by initial participants in the Bristol Recovery Forum project at the February meeting:
“ I would like to see a cohesive recovery community. Instead of all different groups running separately. We’re all trying to do the same thing so let’s do it together. Were all the same but different”
“To help provide a new service that recognises cross addiction/ multiple needs/mental health and ex-offenders etc.”
“To be able to speak for people who use treatment services within Bristol as I seem to be the only one everyone else seems to be workers in the field”
“To help generate enthusiasm and inspiration for people in recovery and to help others “
Some of the initial aspirations people getting involved with the Bristol Recovery Forum have expressed:
“To help create a new more inclusive recovery forum that welcomes dual-need (homeless/mental health/ex-offender & substance misuse)”
“Ideas from which we can all learn something beneficial, for all the people that addiction touches”
“A place to meet, socialise, and interact with other people in recovery”
“Greater knowledge and input into the recovery agenda in Bristol drug and alcohol services”