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Road To Recovery Trust : Keeping Recovery Alive

by Amy Van Zyl in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 16th December 2020 we successfully raised £1,770 with 44 supporters in 36 days

We wish to raise money to help protect recovery, treat addiction and prevent relapse in the community we serve.

by Amy Van Zyl in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Any extra money raised will continue to be used by the Road to Recovery Trust for the common good of the recovery community we serve. We have ideas including employability schemes, educational intervention on substances in some of the Schools in our region and recovery art events for 2021 .

  • 1603100904_jonathan_ashworth_talking_with_gss_customers_2.jpgThe Road to Recovery Trust was born from the idea of a few individuals in long term recovery, with an aim of bettering opportunities and creating a safe space for those in recovery or wishing to access support for issues relating to addiction.

We operate the only sober/dry Café of it's type in Tyne and Wear. We have over 2000 members and are the biggest collective of individuals in recovery in the region. 

The North East of England has the highest:

  • Substance Related Deaths
  • Substance Related Hospital Admissions
  •  Rates of Individual Poverty
  • Child Poverty
  • Hep C contraction 

Newcastle is widely known as a party city, many will flock to our region to enjoy nights out. Unfortunately Newcastle Upon Tyne and the North East in general struggles with substance misuse, behavioural addictions (such as gambling and sex) and alcoholism that however it is largely unacknowledged until people become of of the statistics. 

Newcastle Upon Tyne is the drug death capital of England. 

Our trust set about with the aim to turn Newcastle Upon Tyne from an area with high level substance use statistics, to an area with the highest rate of recovery nationwide. 

We pooled our resources and managed to obtain a space we could use as a dry bar and social space in the center of town. We host over 30 weekly recovery focused 12 step meetings spanning a range of anonymous fellowships. In addition we also offer family support and rent space to mental health, housing and financial advice services. 

The truth is though our buildings value goes beyond the services we facilitate. We serve a safe place for those from the recovery community to socialise, meet friends, enjoy nights out with entertainment and no alcohol. We run men's support coffee clubs, female support coffee clubs a creche service and have a kitchen that employs and trains those in recovery, giving employment opportunities. Whilst providing some of the best food in the city at a reasonable price. Our pay it forward initiative means that anyone can get a warm drink and a toiletries/food drop box helps those who need a little hand.  

Understandably Covid-19 has threatened the café existence, we have faced long periods of closure and now with government guidelines we are unable to run the face to face support groups that individuals need so desperately to maintain their recovery and sound mental health. 

In response we set up a 24/7 project to provide remote support to our vulnerable community. Our volunteers have worked tirelessly and have maned phone lines, delivered 450 free hot meals per week and created online content to help those who feel isolated and at risk of losing recovery. 

Mental health implications as a result of new lockdown measures are of great concern to our trust. have estimated that over 50% of all individuals with severe mental health conditions , struggle with addiction issues alongside them.  Research has shown that initiatives like ours directly help with long term mental health management. This will be crucial when the time comes to recover for a life beyond Covid. 

Mental health conditions are positively impacted through connection, purpose & support from a community where individuals feel safe , accepted & of equal value. 

Our organisation and sober space serves to facilitate community events and provide the opportunity for a meaningful connected life that long term recovery depends on. Many have founds friendships , love and direction as a result of our service. We are continually humbled to serve a community that insipires us so deeply. 

We are desperately seeking donations to keep our project alive. Our volunteers are still working to protect those in our community with adverse health conditions and with the North East in further lockdown restrictions we feel compelled to act.  

We have the trust of the recovery community we serve. we are their collective voice and push the case for the end of addiction stigma , mental health stigma and the benefits of 12 step recovery through media channels and outlets. 

In 2021 we have plans to do even more , with an eye on recovery month September 2021 we aim to celebrate recovery with a series of events in our region. So that we can start to look at the solution as opposed to the problem. 

Any donations are gratefully received. Our survival is essential and to our recovery community members where isolation is both a cause and effect of their illness.  Where there is now a need for physical distancing we require your support to become socially connected .


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£500 or more

£500 Patron Reward

Any individual who kindly makes a single pledge of £500 will be celebrated for their generosity on our website patrons page once we have consent from the individual.

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