Battling an addiction is challenging and often extremely difficult; it is a task that has the potential to ruin the lives of many people. With so many struggling with addiction, there is a pressing need for addiction services to provide support for these individuals. Fortunately, there are many fantastic resources available to those struggling with addiction; one example of the is the Huddersfield Change Project, which is led by recovering alcoholic Dave Kennedy. His aim is to help as many affected individuals as possible in Huddersfield as he knows just how devastating an addiction can be.

Sharp End

Dave suffered from alcoholism for 24 years. He says that he knows he can help others who suffer from addiction and other issues because he has witnessed life from the ‘sharp end’. Huddersfield Change Project was created so that those who are struggling daily, living on the streets or sleeping rough, can receive adequate support. The project’s priority is to identify anyone who needs support in terms of going on to lead a better life. The project is expected to cost £5,000 and so far, £265 has been pledged towards this total.

Pleased with the Response

Dave and a team of fifteen volunteers went into Huddersfield town centre on Christmas Eve and provided essentials such as food, clothing and sleeping bags to those living rough on the streets, in a project called Secret Smiles on the Streets. Dave said, “It’s only been going for a week or so, but I am quite pleased with the response. Because I have seen life from the sharp end, I know a lot of the faces, and people respect me because I have been there and know what it’s like to struggle like this. I don’t think you could have a better experience than I have. And I’m very good at sitting down with people and listening to their problems. I’m a very serene and non-judgmental person. I just want to get it right, and I’m grateful that a lot of people are offering to help.”

Dream Becoming Reality

In addition to providing essentials such as food and clothing to those who are living on the streets, the project wants to support those suffering from addiction, mental health issues or have concerns over housing and rehousing. The plan is to also provide a central hub for the disadvantaged and homeless, along with an essential items exchange centre.

Dave explained, “I spend a lot of time on this fledgling project. I get around the town centre two-to-three times a week, and the number of people you meet who need help is shocking. What was a dream for me is now becoming a reality, and I will not give up until we are sat in our town centre premises with people coming to see us for a smile and some support. I have adopted the phrase, ‘We work for a cause, not applause’ as this project is absolutely about helping others, not about making ourselves look good, and if anyone gives the impression that they are working for us just to look good or to win some friends, they won’t be the people I want on board.”

Further Information

Addiction can be tough to overcome, especially for those living on the streets, but the good news is that help is available. If you have concerns regarding a loved one’s addiction and are unsure of what to do next, then contact us here at Recovery Lighthouse. Our centre has helped countless people around the UK in overcoming their addiction; we offer a range of treatments as well. If you require any further information or have any general enquiries, then do not hesitate to get in touch with us today and we will assist you in any way that we can.

Source: “I’ve seen life at the sharp end – I know I can help” Recovering alcoholic’s lifeline for homeless (Examiner)