Celebration of Recovery in Rochdale

Over the past few years, I had an idea about an event to celebrate recovery in Rochdale, but due the resent Covid crisis this had to be placed on hold due to restrictions.

When I first started with Sanctuary trust I had an idea for a Rochdale Recovery Network, but this never came to fruition. It was based around the recovery from Drugs and Alcohol.

Over the years I spent time networking with other organisations in the area and have built up contacts with workers in most of them. Carrying on working as Sanctuary Trust’s Rochdale Crisis Coordinator through the pandemic with a lot of other front-line workers in the borough along with my partner “THE Angie” from Angie’s Angels

Angie and Tony
Angie and Tony

which has become a personal joke in our house. Delivering food to those in isolation. I was fortunate, due to the tenacity of Sanctuary’s management team securing a joint funding bid with Bond Board to be employed as a MEAM worker for Changing Futures, after my Crisis Coordinator contract had come to an end. We noticed that the effect of the pandemic had fractured services. Through no fault of their own it was just the way things had to be for the safety workers and beneficiaries.

Whilst working for Changing Futures I gained more contacts with different agencies. The criteria for being on the programme is multiple disadvantaged Homelessness, Criminal justice, Mental Health, Domestic Violence, and substance misuse.

So, a few of the people working in the sector were on about September being recovery month so we came up with the idea of recovery from all five of the multiple disadvantages.

After a lot of hard work and the help of the MEAM United team we managed to put together the event on the 3rd of September in Broadfield Park with The Peace Artistes Street Band opening the event.

The Peace Artistes

Recovery singing band

Chorus of Others


Drum Circle, Stalls games and testimonies from people in recovery. And was a chance for the organisations to start to network with each other after years in isolation.

Picture courtesy of Allana Jones


Feedback from the day makes it certain that there needs to be more days like this, and that recovery can be fun, or else what’s the point.

The evening was marked with a dry event in Champness hall where we all raved till midnight this was also a great success and we would like to thank Champness Hall Trust for letting us use their venue. We hope to make this a yearly event to mark the start of recovery month.

Thanks to Rochdale Borough Council, all who attended the events and to all who made this happen. Hope to see you all next year. And hopefully the start of the Rochdale Recovery Network.

Tony McManus MEAM worker

Changing Futures

Sanctuary Trust

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