Celebrities Ricky Tomlinson and Guy Garvey congratulate Lancaster charity as it celebrates 10th anniversary

A Lancaster charity is celebrating 10 years of helping people to rebuild their lives after drug and alcohol misuse.
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A total of 160 staff, volunteers and leaders gathered in the Invincibles Lounge at Preston North End to mark the 10th birthday of Red Rose Recovery, which has offices in Lancaster, Preston, Accrington and Blackburn.

Video messages from famous face congratulating the charity on its achievements included Elbow frontman Guy Garvey and The Royle Family actor Ricky Tomlinson.

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Since its launch in 2012, the charity has supported and empowered thousands of people who have been affected by addiction and related problems, through peer support, training and mentoring, volunteering opportunities, and community engagement projects.

Lancaster area Service Lead, Sarah O'Mara, celebrates a decade of Red Rose Recovery's achievements.Lancaster area Service Lead, Sarah O'Mara, celebrates a decade of Red Rose Recovery's achievements.
Lancaster area Service Lead, Sarah O'Mara, celebrates a decade of Red Rose Recovery's achievements.

More than 90% of its staff have lived experience of the issues facing clients, and this according to founder Peter Yarwood, is the secret to Red Rose Recovery’s success.

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“Lived experience is no longer something to be ashamed of – instead, it’s become something to be embraced and valued,” he said.

“We’ve turned our perceived weakness into our superpower. We’ve built self-esteem by creating opportunities for people who have experienced adversity to give back to and be part of society in a truly meaningful way.

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“What we do works because of the insight our lived experience gives us. We are able to quickly understand and respond to the situation people find themselves in – often, that means just hearing and seeing the other person and getting beyond the labels society has placed on them.”

From humble beginnings with just five members of staff, Red Rose Recovery now employs around 100 people across a variety of settings including police custody suites, mental health services, homeless shelters and hostels, and rehabilitation facilities.

It runs 40 support groups each week from many more locations including Morecambe, Blackpool and St Annes. Peer-led support sessions focused on recovery and wellbeing are complemented by a wide range of activity-based groups, from conservation projects to music therapy.

Anyone seeking support for issues related to drug or alcohol misuse, mental health, or criminal justice can contact Red Rose Recovery via its website, www.redroserecovery.org.uk. Self-referrals are welcome.