Thousands walk through Paisley to help change perceptions of recovery

Thousands of people took to the streets in Paisley to help change perceptions of people in recovery from alcohol and drugs.

More than 4,000 people from across Scotland walked through the town for the Recovery Walk Scotland event which took place here for the first time.

Organised by Scottish Recovery Consortium, Renfrewshire was chosen as a location for the event due to the recent work by Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership, and third sector partners to better support people with lived and living experience of alcohol and drugs through the now concluded Alcohol and Drugs Commission and the current Alcohol and Drugs Change Programme.

At the event, roses were placed into the White Cart river as part of a remembrance ceremony on friends and family lost to addiction.

There was also family fun and entertainment, hosted by Vic Galloway, as well as the one and a half mile-long walk through the town centre.

Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, convener of the Fairer Renfrewshire sub-committee for Renfrewshire Council, said the event puts a spotlight on the recovery community here in Renfrewshire.

She said, "We already have a strong recovery community here in Renfrewshire and we want to help build that so that everyone, no matter what community someone lives in, feels that they have the support they need around them.

"I was at the event and there was a great atmosphere and sense of camaraderie. It was heart-warming to see people making new connections."

Jardine Simpson, Chief Executive of Scottish Recovery Consortium, said: "Recovery Walk Scotland attracted over 4,000 people to Paisley on Saturday. They met to remember those we lost to addiction then to celebrate that recovery is possible. Recovery from substance dependency is built through connection with others and unconditional care and that's what the wider Connected and Caring Renfrewshire project is all about."

The Connected and Caring Renfrewshire programme is co-funded by Renfrewshire Council and in partnership with the Alcohol and Drug Partnership, which is made up of council, health, police, fire and rescue and the third and voluntary sector. It aims to strengthen social connection as well as reduce stigma and change how people talk about recovery as a community.

The Alcohol and Drugs Change Programme is supported by the same organisations and aims to ensure people can get peer-to-peer support as well as investing in mental health programmes and education and health improvements to provide help and support at every stage. It is also increasing capacity for local groups and organisations who support recovery through the Recovery Change Fund.

Published: Tuesday 27 September 2022

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