New Year Message 2021

James during 2020’s “Dress To Impress” daily lockdown video.

To see a video message from James to accompany this message, visit our Facebook page here.

“As we take our first steps into 2021, we find ourselves facing many of the same challenges that came with the previous year. Whilst those challenges may bring uncertainty and fear, we at Recovery Devon believe it is more important than ever to hold on to the most fundamental of Recovery values: HOPE.

That said, hope alone is not enough to bring about the changes we as an organisation wish to make. As we outline our plans for action, we encourage each of you to also consider the steps you can take towards living full and meaningful lives, even alongside any effects of living with mental health difficulties.

Reflecting on the previous twelve months we acknowledge the lessons this pandemic has taught us; that we are resilient, the importance of community and connection, the value of those who work in service of others, gratitude for the things we do have, the need to take care of our health and the health of those we love, the reassurance and comfort we may find in our faith or beliefs and the inspiration we can take from nature.

So what are Recovery Devon’s plans for 2021?

I’ve attached a presentation, previously shared at our Annual General Meeting last November, providing a comprehensive review of our community development work over the past twelve months as well as many of our plans for 2021. I am indebted to my two colleagues, Em and Sami, who have been instrumental in taking Recovery Devon (and Recovery in Devon) to new heights of community engagement during their first year and we are currently making plans to expand our small team.

You’ll no doubt be aware that our intention to hold a major festival/conference last June: ‘Recovery Rising’, had to be postponed. With heavy hearts, we have decided to cancel this event for now and will instead focus our resources on community work.  We understand this will come as a disappointment but not only does the pandemic situation forbid public gatherings but the celebratory nature of a Recovery Rising festival feels out of step with current public sentiment. However, our commitment to an open, free-to-attend event remains and we will keep our plans under review.

Recovery Devon had three board members step away from our management team during 2020; Judith Belam, Ashley Callaghan and Dr Glenn Roberts (our co-founder and long-time advisor).

I’d like to thank them all for their support and encouragement over many years, not to mention their skills, knowledge and dedication to the recovery movement. This is not a goodbye, but a shift in roles as they continue being our good friends and continued supporters.

As Judith, Ashley and Glenn stepped away, we warmly welcomed Dr Tom Cant and Dr Donna Poade to the board, maintaining our leadership balance of lived experience and professional expertise.

As ever, it is important that our community work is driven and informed by you, our members and supporters.

Please contact the Recovery Devon team with any comments or ideas you may have and these will be used to shape and further develop our plans.

I’ll end by wishing you well during these uncertain and challenging times. Together we will come through this and together we can realise our hopes for a brighter future.”

James Wooldridge – CEO Recovery Devon