Cafe is helping people on road to recovery

Pictured from the left are Recovery Cafe attendee Taz, open access intervention worker Catherine Warnock and Danny from Conn3ct at the cafe at St Mary's Church
Pictured from the left are Recovery Cafe attendee Taz, open access intervention worker Catherine Warnock and Danny from Conn3ct at the cafe at St Mary's Church

A cafe that helps people struggling with substance misuse is going from strength to strength as it approaches its first anniversary.

The Recovery Cafe, which is run by the Calderdale Substance Misuse Service (CSMS), is held in the crypt of St Mary’s Church, Todmorden, on Thursdays from 11am until 3pm. It offers people the chance to get support to help them with their drug or alcohol problems.

The cafe opened in August 2012 and was created after people expressed their desire to have a point of access to the service within the local community.

It is manned by staff from the CSMS triage team, members of mentoring groups Contour and En Route, and Conn3ct.

Catherine Warnock, open access intervention worker, said, “As with all new ideas it took a little while for the word to spread around Todmorden but after a couple of weeks of being open, numbers began to increase.

“At present, a regular group of service users attend the cafe, engaging with both staff and peers alike.

“The attendance of Conn3ct workers also aid in service users accessing support in relation to housing, benefits and employment.

“People don’t have to be using the substance misuse service to attend the cafe and if they do attend they aren’t obliged to make contact with the service afterwards.

“It is hoped we can reach out to people and offer them the support they need, which gives them the boost they need to then come along to our triage clinic on a Monday at Todmorden Health Centre.”

The cafe’s flexible approach gives people the chance to share their experiences and get support and guidance from professionals on many topics.

Taz, a man who attended the cafe on a regular basis, said: “People can feel a bit cut off in Todmorden so it’s good having a local service here and it really helped me.

“They offer impartial advice and we are able to share information with each other.”