Recovery Day 2022

It’s been a few years since our last Celebration Day, due to Covid and personal circumstances, and we were nervous about what to expect when organizing the first one since 2019. The world has changed, we are changed, the recovery movement has changed.

We are so pleased to say that the day was a great success. There was a wonderful group of people who joined us at West Town Farm to exchange inspiring recovery stories and experiences.

The day started with a warm welcome from our Managing Director, Hilda Kalap. Hilda reflected over her first few months with Recovery Devon, whilst also acknowledging the preceding work of our previous MD, James Wooldridge. We were then joined by Storyteller, Lisa Schneidau, who led us through a beautiful autumnal story.

We heard from the much respected, Glenn Roberts who shared with us the collection of stories for the next Storms book installment, Strengthened by the Storms. A book with the ‘aim to gather an anthology of stories of how the personal life experience of practitioners has informed, even equipped them for their work and how valued qualities such as empathy and compassion arise from such experience.’. We then had the incredible privilege to be able to listen to a couple of inspiring excerpts, read by the authors, Kate Lovett and Vicky Jiminez. Listeners were moved to tears by the stories that were so full of hope, overcoming and resilience.

This year’s Community Development Fund winners from the summer also joined us to give presentations on how their projects and funded groups are going. We heard from:

Teignbridge Anxiety Café- Briony Enright, Toby and James

Braunton Men’s Shed- Jon Rodney-Jones

Waffle House- Rob Robinson and Matt Smith

It was incredibly uplifting to hear about the effects that these projects are having all across pockets of Devon. We are continuously in awe of the strength and compassion that so many individuals have, and the goodwill of so many organizations.

We also said a heartfelt ’till we meet again’ to our Community Development Manager, Em Flint. Em has been a rock for Recovery Devon over the last few months and she will be very missed. Luckily, Em has taken on a new role within DPT, which means that we are excited to see how our paths will cross in the future. We all want to say a huge thank you and good luck in your new venture!

As well as all of this we found time for some homemade soup, walks with Organic Arts on the Farm and to their community garden and the offer to make your own Positivity Pebble with Sarah McFloof. This day bought us, as an organisation, back to our roots, back to sharing the voice of lived experience, being a community of goodwill and allowing space to be.

A huge thank you to all of those that joined us, and a big thank you to West Town Farm for hosting. We hope to see you all next year!