Celebrating Recovery Event at HMP Guys Marsh

On the 31st March 2016 Guys Marsh held a ‘Celebrating Substance Misuse Recovery Event’. The event consisted of people who were in recovery themselves coming into the prison and telling their history and recovery journey to prisoners.

The event was held in the prison chapel at Guys Marsh Prison. There were 12 visitors who came into the prison and 5 of these told their story. The format was that prisoners were allocated a group and they then stayed in their group and the guests moved around the tables telling their recovery journey and answering questions posed by prisoners. This happened 5 times which was tiring for the guests however to their credit they managed to keep telling their story with great motivation and enthusiasm. They kept the groups attention and engaged them throughout. The feedback received from the prisoners was extremely positive with statements such as:

‘I learnt that if you have knock backs, setbacks along the way it is always possible to get back up and carry on going. Not to lose sight of the main target’

‘I learnt that leaving prison often means lapsing and it’s important to set up a support network / sponsors’

‘I listened to six different stories and with determination and patience anything is possible’

The closing share was by Narcotics Anonymous where an inspirational life and recovery story was given to all attendees.

Many of the speakers were nervous prior to the event however all said how much they enjoyed it and how it had been rewarding for themselves. It was agreed that this type of event will continue in the future and if you feel that this is something that you would like to be involved in then please let EDP Drug and Alcohol services know.

The Integrated Substance Misuse Service at HMP Guys Marsh would like to say a big ‘THANK YOU’ to our guests who gave up their time to come tell their story, to Dave Newman for organising the guest list and a lot more and to Jenny Sherwood from Step forward Volunteering Service, to the prisoners (our clients) who completely embraced the event and finally to Guys Marsh Prison for allowing and supporting the event to take place and for being so very forward thinking in relation to RECOVERY!

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