The Listening Project

The Listening ProjectThe current COVID-19 pandemic has challenged many people recovering from substance use. Recently, Ruth Spencer, Adult Treatment Service Manager at Aquarius, spoke to a stranger on the Radio 4 programme The Listening Project about being in recovery from substance addiction during lockdown.

Radio 4’s The Listening Project is a programme designed to give a picture of contemporary Britain. The programme is documenting the COVID-19 pandemic by facilitating conversations between strangers with something in common, to be archived in the British Library. In this episode Ruth spoke to Sherif, a former addict in recovery, about the specific problems lockdown presents for those coping with addiction.

“We have set up loads of different groups on Zoom and it has really transformed things being able to connect people from their own homes, and the wider recovery network. It has really opened up people’s eyes to the fact that they can access all this support.”

During the conversation, Ruth highlighted the advantages of Aquarius services moving online: “We have set up loads of different groups on Zoom and it has really transformed things being able to connect people from their own homes, and the wider recovery network. It has really opened up people’s eyes to the fact that they can access all this support.” She explained that sometimes people we support have been apprehensive about coming to in-person meetings. However, the online meetings have inspired people to ‘give it a go’ and join. The option of joining meetings from your own home has been empowering for many.

“Sometimes when we’re in those dark places, we forget what we’ve got, we’re not in a place to be able to see what we’ve got, or enjoy it or embrace it.”

Ruth discussed how lockdown has made us embrace little things that we often take for granted such as “the birdsong that you can hear when you wake up in the morning, seeing the beautiful skies, being able to enjoy the surroundings and the beautiful places that we’ve got around us. Sometimes when we’re in those dark places, we forget what we’ve got, we’re not in a place to be able to see what we’ve got, or enjoy it or embrace it. There’s nothing like a pandemic to put that into perspective”.

We are really proud of how all staff, volunteers, and people we support have adapted to new ways of conducting services, and hope that this episode of The Listening Project will help those on their recovery journey.

The full episode can be accessed here