Recovering addicts sail around UK
A SAILING boat crewed by 100 recovering drug addicts is to set off on a three-month journey from Plymouth.
The Gaff Ketch Tectona will sail around the UK for three months as part of a treatment project designed to aid the recovery of those on board.
All 'Voyage of Recovery' participants are in drug and alcohol treatment programmes.
The trip will be studied by Plymouth University to identify how activities like the voyage can aid recovery.
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Addiction charity Phoenix Futures and sailing charity the Tectona Trust have worked together to set up the voyage.
The crew has been selected from Phoenix's community and residential treatment services in Wirral, Trafford, Barnsley, Sheffield, Derby, Birmingham, Hampshire, Glasgow and Tyneside.
Darren Long, an ex-Phoenix service user, came up with the idea for the voyage.
He said: "The voyage will be a life-changing opportunity for those people taking part.
"I know it will also be a symbol of hope for people who are in a similar situation to the one I was in a few years ago.
"I'm now drug-free and working on the Tectona, helping others overcome their addiction problems."
Adele Duncan, project manager for Voyage Of Recovery, said: "This has been a huge project.
"It really has brought people of all ages and backgrounds together to support recovery from addiction and help transform individuals and their communities around the country."
The voyage will leave Plymouth on August 1 and head West, stopping at Milford Haven, Holyhead, Liverpool, Glasgow, Corpach, Peterhead, North Shields, Ipswich, London, and Portsmouth.
It is due back in Plymouth on October 24.
Organisers will be fundraising throughout the voyage and accepting donations at www.justgiving.com/voyageofrecovery.