Recovery Shed Empowers Hope and Healing Within the Community

8th September 2023

To mark World Suicide Prevention Day on Sunday 10th September, we are shining a light on a service in the community that help those on their journey to recovery.

Born in April 2023, the Recovery Shed at the Downshire Hospital in Downpatrick welcomes men and women of all ages living with addictions.

The Recovery Shed offers a safe place for service users to come together to share and learn new skills and connect with others, empowering them on their journey to recovery.

Peer Support Worker, Mark Sharkey Greenhalgh explained, “With mental health and addictions, loneliness is a huge challenge for people on the road to recovery.

“At the Recovery Shed service users are finding that sense of belonging and this is boosting their self-esteem and their confidence.”

Once a service user is on their path to recovery, they can attend the Recovery Shed. After a few months, service users can assess their progress and decide whether they want to continue participating in the Recovery Shed or explore new opportunities. For example some have volunteered for the Trust or helped in the garden project. Others may choose to pursue further education or build upon the skills they’ve acquired through their involvement in the Recovery Shed.

This project provides a diverse range of activities such as woodworking, creating art for sale, with proceeds benefiting the shed, or contributing to garden maintenance through tasks like raking and planting. The Recovery Shed offers something for everyone, even just enjoying a simple cup of tea!

Service user, Emma Holland explained, “For anybody that has an addiction problem, throw yourself into things. It really does work. A simple gesture like a chat can lift your mood, you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things.

“I love coming to the shed, especially for coping with addictions it gives you something you can do for another day. It’s great to have like-minded people who know exactly where you’re coming from and understand your issues.

“I had no routine but now, I feel like I have a purpose. It’s all about keeping your mind busy because these activities help take your mind off the addiction.”