06 March 2024

Shaping recovery: finding safety at Recast

A man with curly hair and a beard smiles at the camera, standing in front of a white exhibition wall.
It just crept up on me bit by bit, for years and years.

Josh, Stoke-on-Trent

Josh's story

Where did it all start?

“It just crept up on me bit by bit, for years and years. It was like ‘Tomorrow I'll stop’. ‘Tomorrow I'll stop'. 'Tomorrow I'll stop'. And then it got to the point where I knew the problems I was going through, but I was so good at hiding it. No one knew. 

“I was on holiday in Mykonos with friends, and I had a bad accident there, I fell off a cliff and cracked the back of my head open and flew back. And it was when I was in hospital … because I was in hospital for so many hours and hadn’t had an alcoholic drink that all the symptoms were coming in, like seizures. And then the doctor said, 'Are you an alcoholic?', and I just said, 'I think so'."

What impact has Recast had on your recovery?

“Using the clay, it's just really therapeutic, and you create whatever you want with it. You can make a ball or you can make a Picasso - it doesn't make any difference. You can create whatever you want. And also being in a group of people where we're all in the same boat, no one judges you, no one cares. We all just have a laugh with each other. We're all completely different age groups, but we're like a little group, a little family. 

“Coming to Recast, it keeps me focused on what I've got to do. I think if I didn't have anywhere to go … I don’t know, I'd be lost. It's hard, really hard. But I’m too much of a stubborn person to quit. Having a group of people around you just makes it easy. So easy.”

About the Recast project

WithYou clients living in the Stoke-On-Trent area had the chance to take part in Recast, a collaborative project with British Ceramics Biennial that combines clay and creativity with drug and alcohol recovery.

Through the weekly clay workshops and four-day residency, the project aims to deliver several therapeutic benefits, including increasing confidence and self-worth, making social connections, and using hands-on creative activities to enhance wellbeing and recovery.

Josh is one of the recovery artists who took part in the project and experienced first-hand how the clay transformed his recovery journey.

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