The Greens – Humankind

Recovery Story: Greg at The Greens (Sheffield Recovery Focused Accommodation)

Jack Keery

Greg, a resident at The Greens, in their garden

Greg is a resident at The Greens, Humankind’s recovery focused accommodation in Sheffield. Before Greg accessed support at The Greens, his alcohol dependency had made him extremely ill. In his own words, he was “close to death”.

Now, Greg is enjoying life and recently even took part in a ‘Way of the Roses’ sponsored bike ride to raise money for us as a charity, to help others access the same support he received. He wanted to tell his story for Alcohol Awareness Week, in the hope that it might inspire others to make a change to their drinking habits.

“I have come a long way with the help of The Greens… My life is changed so much now.”

If you need support for your drug or alcohol use in Sheffield, contact our free and confidential support service.

Humankind’s community members travel over 1,000 miles together in celebration of Recovery Month

Jack Keery

Barnsley Recovery Steps, a Humankind service, on a recovery walk through Barnsley

Humankind has been celebrating the successes of people recovering from addiction by holding events throughout September to mark Recovery Month.

Recovery Month is a national event that celebrates the achievements of people who have sought treatment for drug and alcohol use.

Staff, volunteers, and people who use our services have joined together at a range of events, including walks, bicycle rides, community litter picks, and step-challenges to recognise the achievements of close to 30,000 people who access our recovery services each year.

North Yorkshire Horizons hiking

Speaking about the events, Humankind’s CEO, Paul Townsley, said:

“National Recovery Month is always a hugely significant time in our charity’s calendar, not only because we are able to celebrate the fantastic achievements of people who have accessed our services and thrived within them, but because those people have the opportunity to show others who may be struggling that recovery from substance misuse is both real and achievable.

“The collective effort from participants to amass over 1,000 miles in walks, bike rides, and many other events sends a strong message that we must end the stigma surrounding drug and alcohol issues, and instead celebrate those in recovery who are taking life-changing steps and aiming to maintain their sobriety.”

In total, our Recovery Month participants collectively travelled over 1186.9 miles, representing more than three times the distance from our head office in Durham to the location of our service furthest in the south, EDP in Devon.

As well as events to get active, Humankind’s services have also hosted graduations for those who have achieved sobriety and parties for those in recovery.

Forward Leeds, one of our drug and alcohol recovery services, hosted a recovery graduation at Elland Road with former Leeds United football player Jermaine Beckford and professional boxer Maxi Hughes presenting the ceremony.

Professional boxer Maxi Hughes and Jermaine Beckford at the Forward Leeds Recovery Graduation

In Sheffield, The Greens Recovery Focused Accommodation hosted a garden party in recognition of the achievements of tenants such as Greg Goodwin, who in the space of a year went from being in intensive care as a result of alcoholism to going sober and taking part in a 170-mile bike ride.

Other events featured in Humankind’s Recovery Month calendar included:

  • Barnsley Recovery Steps – 10-mile ramble
  • Calderdale Recovery Steps – outreach event in Halifax Town Centre, with public speakers, bands, choirs, and stalls
  • EDP Drug and Alcohol Services – Mount Everest Steps Challenge
  • Forward Leeds – Waterfront Recovery Walk
  • North Yorkshire Horizons – Yorkshire Three Peaks hike
  • South Tyneside Adult Recovery Service – Recovery Walks
  • Staffordshire Adult Recovery Service – Recovery Walks
  • The Greens Recovery Focused Accommodation – 170-mile Way of the Roses bike ride
  • The Greens Recovery Focused Accommodation – weekly community litter picks

Green shoots for Recovery

David Lupton

The Greens, a Humankind recovery centre located in Sheffield, is seeking horticultural support for a new mindfulness garden that is currently under construction.

The centre provides recovery focused accommodation for people who are in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.

During the recent lockdown, residents came up with a highly ambitious plan to redesign the garden, providing a space for mindfulness and relaxation, and a large seating area for group and keywork sessions in the summer months. So far, residents have relayed turf, rebuilt the pathway and dug a pond. Meanwhile, research is underway as to which plants, vegetables and fruit trees thrive best in the new garden. The work has been supported by a grant from SOAR, and with a pledge of support from South Yorkshire Housing Association, alongside a generous discount offer from Wickes.

The residents have issued a plea for further local support to allow them to install artificial grass, more planting and garden furniture, which will help make the space a relaxing place to unwind and boost wellbeing.

Louise Morley, Project Manager at The Greens said: “What the residents have achieved so far is amazing. They’ve really taken the garden project to their hearts, and even though it’s been a pretty miserable winter, they have been working hard on the garden development.

“The mindfulness garden project will provide an area for planting, many residents have never had a garden before and the chance to grow their own herbs and veg. Growing plants you can eat is a magical process and this will enhance their experience at The Greens.

“We’re now looking for further support from anyone who can help, to enable the garden to develop to its full potential.”

Ed, a resident at The Greens said: “The staff here have all been brilliant. Since I’ve come here, I’ve been able to talk to the staff about anything, how I’m feeling, if I’m struggling or whatever it is.

“This garden project has helped me massively. My mate Lee has got me up and out every day, helping dig out the pond, starting on the path. It gives me something positive to do and focus on and there’s always someone to talk to out there.”

If you can offer support in any form, whether financial, materials or expertise, please contact Louise Morley at The Greens on