12th April 2016 -The Platform – Morecambe
April’s County LUF kicked off with a technological bang. Post the warm welcomes provided by Peter Yarwood and Emma Daggers were made, all 300 of the attendees then engaged with a technology experiment utilising cutting edge hand held IT equipment. The multiple choice questions were projected on to the big screen allowing the LUF to capture information about how individuals experienced various aspects of recovery, including stigma, education and the LUF experience live and direct in real time. There were a few giggles as people worked out in a relaxed manner how to use the equipment. People fed back that seeing their input on the big screen felt inclusive. One person stated “it felt like my voice has been captured and heard”
Once completed it was time for the presentations from local recovery networks and initiatives. First up was a Presentation from Beth Tildesley who outlined Red Rose Recovery’s new project, OMEGA. This initiative seeks to support those from a criminal justice background into training, education and employment.
Following up was Dave Higham CEO of The Well, who told us about the history of The Well and what they have achieved since the beginning. Dave’s colleagues Kerrie, Scott and Jamie all came forward and shared their positive experiences of The Well and its community, including the success of a new men’s group. The Well then invited all staff and volunteers on stage and performed an original song of theirs and encouraged everyone to clap along.
During the delicious lunch that was provided by The Well’s new catering enterprise ‘Well-Fed’ there was a wonderfully heartfelt performance from the Red Rose Recovery Choir who showcased their talent and sang some beautiful covers from Coldplay and Elbow. The choir also announced that they have been invited the join the community choir being put together by Gareth Malone from the acclaimed BBC show The Choir.
After lunch the Lancashire Community Sports Initiative team members Colin and Scott took the floor to tell everyone about the new activities on offer within CSI across Lancashire and how fitness and sport have had a positive impact upon recovery networks and communities.
Up next was the innovative project The Exchanged based in the West End of Morecambe. The Exchange is an arts and crafts community that has both studio space and shop below where local artists some in or seeking recovery can sell their stunning artwork from paintings, pottery , Zen doodled pebbles right through to fabric landscapes. The founder of The Exchange Melody Treasure described how the community has grown to include a broad cross section of the community due to its focus on the five ways to wellbeing.
An exciting delivery was provided by Christine and David from Change, Grow, Live, Inspire East Lancashire which added to the community recovery theme by presenting the new service model and the innovative services that will be on offer including community recovery initiatives and the assertive outreach provision integral to the model.
Marc Cottee of Red Rose Recovery then took the floor to talk about the success of the HALS project within Red Rose Recovery and invited Nurse Jan Fisher to discuss her experience in working with the HALS team in the hospitals which was well received by all and provoked a healthy discussion.
To finish off the presentations the LUF welcomed Delphi Rehab Centre – the Pavilion on to the stage and one of the residents shared her positive experiences and gave a hopeful account that recovery is a reality within the Pavilion.
To close the day the much coveted volunteer awards were handed out to grateful applause from all.
The day was closed by Peter and Emma with a huge thanks to all involved.