06 March 2024

Greenslate Community Farm: A home away from home

A middle-aged man smiling at the camera, standing in a greenhouse with various plants under a structure with transparent roofing.
This is where my heart is. It’s where I feel safe.

Mark, Volunteer, Wigan & Leigh

Mark's story

Mark was alcohol-dependent for over 20 years. It impacted every aspect of his life: his family, his job, and who he wanted to be as a person.  

Today, with the support of WithYou, Mark no longer drinks alcohol and volunteers weekly with our service at Greenslate Community Farm in Wigan. 



What has recovery been like for you?

"With the support of WithYou, I had the confidence to face the root cause of my addiction. By knowing what it was, I could confront it and talk about it. And once I did that? It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I wasn't afraid anymore. I'm in control of my own life now, and this has opened so many doors and opportunities for me. WithYou opened my eyes to the potential of what my life could be like - I have a future now.

“I’d never heard of Greenslate, but upon stepping up the drive, it just felt like home straight away. As I spent more time there, I became symbiotic with the farm, and the farm me.”

“All the comradery, community and cooperation makes it feel like home. If I hadn’t come to the farm, I wouldn’t be here. One of the reasons I ended up here is that I was in hospital. I’d never been in recovery before, but this now has become a way of life. Even now, even when I’m not in a group, this is where my heart is. It’s where I feel safe.

“What I associate with recovery is all the positive aspects I’ve now got in my life. At one time, I felt like I had nothing to lose. But now in recovery, I don’t want to lose who I am, because I didn’t know who I was, but now I’m getting to know myself, I like myself, and a drink isn’t worth losing what I’ve gained at all. Never.”

Mark, what’s your message to others who may be experiencing challenges?

"There is life outside of addiction. It’s about giving people the confidence to be who they are, giving them different choices, changing perceptions, and letting people grow.”

Hear from others like Mark