The COVID-19 pandemic has been an incredibly difficult time for many, and for those suffering with addiction it has meant further challenges on the road to recovery. In response to the unprecedented circumstances facing the nation, CAIS’ Structured Recovery Programme has had to adapt to ensure that those in recovery can continue to receive the help and support they need to continue on their journey.
Before the UK entered a national lockdown earlier this year, the Structured Recovery Programme was supporting an average of 25 individuals a week with their recovery from substance misuse. Delivered at locations throughout North Wales, the programme provided participants with opportunities to learn new life skills through access to a wide range of accredited qualifications, from confidence building to healthy living to Welsh culture, as well as receiving support through mutual aid approaches. Participants would also take part in peer learning and a variety of other fun and rewarding activities, such as quad biking, horse riding or visiting various historical sites, to help improve wellbeing.
When the nation entered lockdown on the 16th of March 2020, the programme was forced to cease all face-to-face support and training, however services continued over the phone, through social media and via video calls. In its current format, the Structured Recovery Programme is delivered daily, in various ways, to participants from across North Wales. This includes one-to-one support over the phone, maintaining contact and sharing information and/or advice through social media groups, and group sessions via Zoom whereby our staff and volunteers host informal catch ups, informative sessions or quizzes and games with the aim of reducing loneliness and improving wellbeing. Training has also continued throughout lockdown, with workshops such as Anxiety Management, Relapse Prevention and Mindful Meditation being delivered online as well as formal accredited training. Learners are sent their workbooks by post with a pre-paid return envelope allowing them to earn qualifications at no cost to themselves.
The Structured Recovery Programme has proven to be an invaluable resource during these uncertain times for those recovering from substance misuse. Service user Colin Milner said, “It's brought me back to life. I was in a dark place until I re-joined the programme”, while Peter Upton stated, “Maintaining contact has given me a focus to get up in the mornings.” The continuation of the programme throughout lockdown has also been of benefit to its volunteers. Former service user and current volunteer of almost 2 years, Patricia Murphy, said, “It's helped to keep mutual support going and that's what we're about. Without it, I would be lonely.”
CAIS’ Structured Recovery Programme is a community-based rehabilitation programme for people aged 18 or over who require support to recover from problematic substance misuse. The programme is designed to promote abstinence, reduce harm, and enhance recovery capital so as to boost self-reliance and personal independence.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can join the programme or find out more information by calling one of our team members:
Hayley – 07765 226713 (Wrexham and Flintshire)
Sharon - 07796 176066 (Conwy and Denbighshire)
Craig - 07580 365026 (Gwynedd and Anglesey)