....a peaceful oasis near the centre of Durham City

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Recovery Programme

The Project : In May 2014 we began our Breaking Exclusion work: Well –Being and Resilience days with a grant from Awards for All and Sherburn House and have since had financial support from the RSCJ Sisters, Seedbed and URC . The aim of the days was to give up to  25 people in recovery from addiction and those who care for those in recovery or still struggling with addiction a real break from the harshness of their lives and to offer on –going tools and practices to help them day by day. We are working with a holistic model to engender well –being in body, mind and spirit that does not medicalise people and goes beyond talking therapy to enable and empower day by day. The need is great and will remain long into the future.


The way the days work :  Each person is  offered a complementary therapy  from our team of three masseurs, we do some simple Tai Chi, various meditation , walking the Labyrinth,  art and other creative work.  All in the context of the beautiful buildings and gardens of the  Priory.   We provide a delicious lunch and refreshment throughout the day.  There is lots of time in the day to talk and support one another and this is very important for both users groups.  Those who lead the days feel it is a great place of encounter and we are often deeply moved by the response

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Breaking Exclusion: the Well- Being and Resilience Project for those in recovery from Addiction and their Carers

Paul Golightly writes, 'When I attended a meeting of local retreat house wardens a few years ago  we were asked by a speaker is it only middle-class, middle-aged  woman who need retreat houses as that is the main client group? This was challenging to me and when we became involved with those in recovery from addiction it felt like a nudge  and  gift from God. To offer the space to a new group of people.'

The feedback:  and well-being indicators speak of the great value of the days to on –going recovery and ability to carry on caring and all the agencies are keen to return with their service users we have over 500 at the days so far and other work is beginning . Agencies have taken the DVD we provide and are using it in their centres in their weekly groups .

Agencies involved in recovery work and carer’s organisations bring service users with them on these days, they are very keen to come and make return visits. Carers may self -refer  to attend the days.

Contact Yvonne Hall : yvonneh at or ring 3741242.