Early in 2014, a team of representatives from city-wide services, as well as volunteers, service users, peer mentors and members from local recovery centre The Space, got together to plan for an event that would showcase the wealth of creative and musical talent in addiction and recovery, and increase the visibility of Leeds’ growing recovery community.
The event was free of charge, family-friendly and accessible to people at all stages of recovery. Held in a licensed venue often used for music events, we wanted a safe, drug and alcohol-free environment that felt very much like a gig.
The show spanned four hours of constant entertainment to a crowd made up of service users, staff, supporters and families. The Leeds recovery community is continuing to grow both in terms of numbers and visibility, and supporters and acts came from cities all over the North East and Yorkshire.
Twelve acts, all in recovery, took part in the show, which included a monologue, recovery shares, singers, a DJ and a band – and all served to inspire and encourage the audience.
With the event costing around £350 to stage, and more than 300 people coming through the doors on the day, Recovery Jam cost just over £1 per head to produce – making it a successful part of a wider movement to make Leeds an increasingly recovery-friendly city.
Words by Christina Cornberg, aftercare practitioner at Multiple Choice aftercare service