Leeds drug and alcohol service teams up with Waterstones to form new book club for clients

Gemma Patterson and Becky Carroll from Forward Leeds, with client John Moore and Waterstones branch manager Ged Rumfitt.
Gemma Patterson and Becky Carroll from Forward Leeds, with client John Moore and Waterstones branch manager Ged Rumfitt.

A new book club for people in treatment with the city’s alcohol and drug service has been launched with the support of Waterstones.

The Read4Recovery book club grew from an idea by Forward Leeds clients who were keen to find activities to absorb and entertain them away from alcohol or drugs.

Recovery co-ordinator Gemma Patterson said: “Books offer a new world, escapism, distraction and a positive way to spend time.

“Books may be something the public take for granted but it can be a game changer for people with addiction. It gives people something other than drugs to focus on, which is vital in building up social connections and improving interactions.”

She said the book club aims to give people insight into how being connected to others in a positive light can give them the motivation and strength to fight an addiction.

Ged Rumfitt, the manager of Waterstones Leeds, said: “We are delighted to be working with Forward Leeds on this.

“Reading for pleasure is an amazing form of entertainment. The enjoyment and the benefits you can get from a great book cannot be underestimated and there is such a huge choice to pick from.”

The Read4Recovery book club will meet monthly and initially Waterstones will provide books along with suitable book suggestions.

The plan is for the club to quickly become self-sufficient while continuing to partner with Waterstones on ideas and recommendations.

Forward Leeds provides support for adults, young people and families needing help with alcohol and drug use in Leeds.

It is Britain’s biggest multi-agency project to tackle alcohol and drug problems and has worked with more than 7,400 people since July 2015.

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