Aquarius is looking for more volunteers to help support its work with people recovering from drug or alcohol problems in Derby.
We launched the new Derby Recovery Service in April this year, working alongside the Derby Drug and Alcohol Service with Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust and Phoenix Futures to support people whose lives have been impacted by substance use. The service provides a range of activities including support groups, arts and crafts, music, relaxation, and social gatherings as well as one-to-one support. In its first six months we’ve helped 168 people on their recovery journey.
Volunteers play a key part in the service by helping to run groups and provide one-to-one support. We’re keen for more volunteers to come forward so we can support even more people. We’re staging a volunteers open day so people can find out more about how to get involved.
Jamie Gratton is the Recovery Network Co-ordinator who oversees the volunteers and runs awareness-raising and social events. For him, recovery is more than just a job, it’s a way of life.
He said: “I lived a number of years of my life battling with drugs and alcohol, and during this time I systematically destroyed the relationships close to me, ended up living on the streets, losing my career in the Royal Navy and getting to the point that the only way I could go was to end it all. It was a dark period in my life but with the support of a few good people around me I managed to find a way forward.
“Recovery helped me become a better person and gave me hope. It’s been a long journey but I am finally able to use my past experiences to help support others with their own alcohol and drug issues. There is a stigma around alcohol and drug misuse that can have just as much damage on the person as the effects of the substance itself. I’m in a position to stand up now and say there is another way. You can move on and recovery is the way forward.
“I’ve been very lucky that Aquarius could see something in me and gave me the chance to help build a recovery community in Derby. This community consists of not only those recovering from alcohol and drug problems but also their families as well. The recovery community in Derby is growing.”
To find out more about becoming a volunteer pop along to the open day on Monday, 24 October between 5-8pm at 2 Wilson Street, Halliday House, Derby, DE1 1PG or contact Jamie Gratton on 0300 790 0265.