Leeds: Art classes to help people in recovery find creative side

SPACE TO CREATE: From left, Ruth Kilner with members Gareth Sheehan, Joan Hogan, and Helen Mason.
SPACE TO CREATE: From left, Ruth Kilner with members Gareth Sheehan, Joan Hogan, and Helen Mason.
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People in recovery for drug, alcohol and mental health issues have been given the chance to get creative at a new centre in Leeds set up to help them.

The Space, at Great George Street in the city centre, was launched earlier this year to offer anyone in recovery help in a safe and supportive environment.

The centre – a venture established by Multiple Choice – gives people the opportunity to come up with their own projects and develop their own ideas after leaving treatment.

Users have been given the opportunity to play a central role in helping others overcome their addictions by sharing their stories and getting creative.

They have been given the chance to set up a series of art sessions and other activities such as relaxation classes.

Ruth Kilner, recovery development worker, said: “It’s really important that people have a space that they can come to and meet with people who have had shared experiences.

“The Space was really set up because they identified that when people left treatment they wanted to stay in recovery and not relapse.

“There was nowhere for them to go to meet with like-minded people who are going through the same. Members are the backbone of The Space and its run for members by members.

“It’s important for our members to take ownership of The Space and be part of its growth.”

The Space is funded through donations and grants.

The offices for The Space, which is above a hairdresser’s, were provided by the Leeds Healthy Living Network. They recently managed to secure funding to provide courses to help boost skills.

The group is hoping that local business and groups will get involved to help sustain the project.

Ruth added: “We’re looking for furniture for the library and we need new bookcases and a smart board for our new training courses.” For more details about The Space email ruth.kilner@multiplechoice.org.uk.

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