Helping people affected by addiction to rebuild their lives will be a key focus for new Middlesbrough Mayor Chris Cooke.
Mayor Cooke last week signed the Recovery Cities charter, signalling the town’s intent to support those who need specialist help.
Mayor Cooke, who is also the Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care & Public Health, is committed to ensuring vulnerable people aren’t left behind.
He said: “We’re dedicated to raising the life chances of everyone in society so that we can all grow together.
“I’m proud that we can join other towns and cities by making this commitment to people in recovery.”
Middlesbrough Council delivers numerous initiatives that support those in recovery.
These include speciality support services, high profile government-funded schemes such as Project ADDER and programmes with partners from the health, criminal justice and voluntary sectors.
There is a focus on harm minimisation with overdose reversal kits distributed throughout the town and improving accommodations options for those in recovery.
The Recovery Cities concept identifies the value to society that people in recovery make.
High proportions of people in recovery volunteer for causes that contribute to their local community. The concept also seeks to address the challenges that people in recovery face.
Middlesbrough charity Recovery Connections has long delivered services including recovery cafes and pioneering initiatives with businesses and education providers.
It has an on-campus support service at Teesside University and a partnership with PD Ports offering advice for employees struggling with alcohol or drugs.
Recovery Connections CEO Dot Smith led the Recovery Cities event alongside Professor David Best.
She said: “Recovery is everyone’s business – after all, so much of society, of our economy, is driven by alcohol, and we need to fight back against the harms it causes and shine a light on the true value of recovery which is grounded in a community of lived experience.
“But we need policy makers, business leaders, health professionals, the education sector and the wider public to play a role too. For Mayor Cooke to sign this Charter demonstrates that this vision is being shared and embraced by people with the power to make it a reality."
Pictured: Mayor Chris Cooke with Professor David Best, Recovery Connections Chief Executive Dot Smith, Public Health South Tees Programme Manager Jonathan Bowden, and Director of Public Health Mark Adams at the Recovery Cities event at the Riverside Stadium.