Shared Journeys & Shared Gifts
We’re all on a journey of some description and on Monday and Tuesday this week, mine joined with around 95 other journeys to form something incredibly special.
Across the North West of England, we’re working with NHS England, PHE England and the MoJ to support the delivery of a new ‘through the gate’ (TTG) model in 10 prisons and the communities that surround them. It is an abstinence-based model designed to support individuals who have problems with drug and alcohol as they leave prison.
It is a model that places those with lived experience of addiction, recovery and the criminal justice system at its heart as peer supporters, making recovery as visible as possible and infecting others with the hope and inspiration that it can bring.
And it was these peer supporters, alongside practitioners, from across the North West communities (including Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire) that came together at the start of this week to talk recovery and asset based community development (ABCD). Together we journeyed through the ‘development of ABCD’ story, had a whistle-stop tour of some of the incredible projects already going on, and practised using the tools of ABCD to strengthen the implementation of the TTG model in all of the neighbourhoods represented. It was an incredible start to our shared journey and I hope to share stories of our continued journey as it’s travelled.
At the beginning of day two, one of the fellow travellers shared a quote she had found the evening prior, a quote which the room agreed would become one of their mantras:
“I can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone!”
For everyone in the room, it summed up one of the key learnings in ABCD; that everyone has a gift and something to contribute in creating healthy communities and if we all set out on the achievable task of helping someone, at the end of the day everyone will get what they need to live their version of a good life.