Discovery Recovery Festival in Norwich promotes help for people with drug and alcohol problems

Discover Recovery Festival at The Forum in Norwich. Pictured is Melanie Wallis from HART (Hope, Art

Discover Recovery Festival at The Forum in Norwich. Pictured is Melanie Wallis from HART (Hope, Art and Recovering Together). - Credit: Archant

Inspiring people to overcome their drug and alcohol problems was the focus of a festival held in Norwich yesterday.

Discover Recovery Festival at The Forum in Norwich.

Discover Recovery Festival at The Forum in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

The Discover Recovery Festival was held at The Forum by the Norfolk Drug and Alcohol Partnership (N-DAP), bringing together a range of charities and projects which help people recover from substance misuse.

Alongside a whole range of free entertainment on Millennium Plain throughout the day were stalls inside The Forum's atrium from relevant groups.

One of those stalls was for the Norwich group Hope, Art and Recovering Together (HART).

Founder Melanie Wallis, 39, is a recovering alcoholic herself and set up HART to help others in her situation and to involve herself in a support group.


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Miss Wallis, who celebrated two years since she started her recovery on June 10, explained that the group focuses on creative arts and being a social hub for people who are recovering.

HART is based at the Vauxhall Community Centre, in Johnson Place, and meets on Fridays between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

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Miss Wallis said: 'After 20 years of drinking I've only just admitted that this is my recovery and HART has been such an inspiration to me, to give something back, to show others that you can do it.

'And having the support of people in a recovery group is so important.

'We like to act as a stepping stone back into society for people, so whatever people want to create they can. They can bring in their own ideas from home or we like them to do a project which they can give to somebody as a gift.

'For some people it is just having a tea and coffee to help ease them back into society.'

Other groups with stalls at The Forum included the Dry Pub Project, Norfolk Recovery Community, Acorns Recovery Group and Equal Lives.

There were also drop in meetings with Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and the SMART Recovery Group on offer.

Former Hollyoaks actor Paul Danan, a former drug and alcohol addict himself, compered the event which also featured live bands, Zumba, Powerhoop and Tai Chi demonstrations.

There was also face painting, craft activities and a pink recovery themed tuk-tuk giving free rides around the city centre.

- For more information about the Norfolk Recovery Partnership, and the services it offers, go to www.nordat.org.uk

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