The Brink host Merseyside’s seventh Candlelight vigil and remembrance event

Last Saturday saw Liverpool’s community inspired, alcohol-free bar, The Brink host The 7th Merseyside candlelight vigil and remembrance event.

This event, which is organised by Merseyside’s Action on Addiction’s Community Recovery and addiction treatment centre in Rodney Street, drew people together, to remember those lost to addiction and alcoholism.

The sombre evening included performances and music, readings, personal testimonies, and a remembrance roll-call.

Karen Hemmings, Head of Service at Community Recovery, Merseyside said:

“This is the seventh year of the annual Vigil where we remembered those people that have died through their addiction and alcoholism. Over the years more than 900 people have been acknowledged and commemorated, and they have all been remembered this year too. The people who lost their lives are all someone’s brother, sister, mother, daughter, son or friend and the Vigil gave us a chance to recognise this.”

“It is also important to recognise that there are many stories of hope. The Vigil is a way to acknowledge those who have made changes to their lives and are embracing a new life of recovery from addiction. At Community Recovery, Merseyside we provide a structures day treatment programme in Liverpool called SHARP which supports people on this journey.”

Cathy Hilton who supports family members who are affected by addiction in a programme, funded through Big Lottery says,

“It is so important that we recognise the need to help and support family members who currently have loved ones suffering from addiction and have lost someone, the Candlelight Vigil gave us a time and place to recognise our grief, how addiction affects us all and also helps many people with closure.”

Gary Groves, a graduate of SHARP (the Self-Help Addiction Recovery Programme) and a volunteer at Community Recovery jointly hosted the event, Gary commented,

“The Vigil is very personal and close to my heart as I have lost friends to drug and alcohol addiction; to be able to play a part in this, the seventh Vigil is an honour and a privilege. I have been fortunate enough to achieve recovery through SHARP and as a graduate, it is important that I help relay the message of hope.”

SHARP (Self-Help Addiction Recovery Programme) is an abstinence-based structured day treatment set in a beautiful Georgian town house in Liverpool city centre. It is for those people who need the intensity of structured treatment but, for properly assessed reasons, do not require an in-patient or residential setting.

Family Sunday Support Programme is run from the Brink every Sunday. The group has been designed specifically to offer help, support and understanding to anyone who has been affected by someone else’s misuse of alcohol or drugs. It offers a safe and informal environment in which to begin to recover from the trauma that misuse can cause and also the hope that such a recovery is possible.

Community Recovery, Merseyside is part of Action on Addiction. We take addiction to disarm addiction. We do this through research, treatment, family support, education and training. For more detailed information about the SHARP programme or any of our other services, please see our website: www.actiononaddiction.org.uk.

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