Recovery Hub Ipswich (RHI) is a place for people of all ages to gain the support, skills and confidence to recover from addiction using mutual aid principles. The RHI’s director, Simon Aalders, has over 25 years of experience in working with and running services that treat addiction. Perhaps most notably, he took the lead for both the high profile Prostitution strategy and the Reducing the strength campaign in Ipswich.
Besides the important function of helping people deal with addiction, RHI is built on the principal of community life, contributing enormously to the Ipswich areas by providing community resources that anyone can use.
This principal is exemplified perfectly by the RHI’s headquarters.
‘The Oak’ was built to provide a mixed environment that allows the recovery community to make a sustained contribution to local culture, establish strong links with communities across Ipswich and support volunteering opportunities, as well as introducing a live music venue for local acts – and, asthe venue is alcohol free, it is also a venue for under 18 nights.
Suffolk County Council Labour Group has committed Locality Funding to the development of this project. Specifically, Ipswich’s Labour County Councillors have contributed to the costs of a disabled friendly community Garden at The Oak, together with renovation work and plumbing for the site.
Speaking about the project, Labour Spokesperson for Localities and Environment, Mandy Gaylard, said “The Recovery Hub has only been established, with the assistance of the east of England Co-op, since the summer and it has already benefited the local area. By renovating and revitalising a dilapidated former pub and turning it in to its new HQ, the Recovery Hub have taken an eyesore and given it purpose within the community”.
“Local youngsters, with very few alternatives due to cuts, will have a venue in which to socialise; Ipswich’s great undiscovered bands, musicians and artists will have the chance to showcase their talents; and, of course, those recovering from addiction will be provided with the support they so vitally need in order to recuperate.”
“I am proud that this project is in my division and I am proud that I, and the Suffolk County Council Labour Group, can use our Locality Budget allowance to support it.”
Cllr Gaylard concluded, “I’m certain this project will go from strength to strength, becoming a long-term and vibrant pillar of our community”.
Above: Simon Aalders and Councillor Mandy Gaylard at the Recovery Hub Ipswich